No. 14 Wolfpack Handles Orange in ACC Quarterfinals, 79-63
March 7, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Led by a career-high 28 points from senior center Markeisha Gatling, the No. 14 NC State women's basketball team earned a 79-63 victory over the Syracuse Orange Friday afternoon in 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinal action.
Three Wolfpackers finished the day scoring in double figures, led by a career-high 28 points from Gatling. Kody Burke added 21 points, 16 boards and five assists, while freshman Miah Spencer scored 10 points.
Brittney Sykes led Syracuse in scoring, as she tallied 14 points in the loss.
NC State (25-6) opened the contest with a 10-4 lead at the first media timeout (15:07). During this opening stretch, Spencer was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc for six early points. The Wolfpack also collected six offensive rebounds throughout this stretch.
Throughout the middle stages of the first half, the Orange used an 18-4 run over a span of 5:01 to take a 24-18 advantage.
Sykes led Syracuse with eight first half points, as the Orange took a 38-31 into the halftime locker room. Gatling led all scorers with 10 points in the half, while Spencer finished the opening stanza with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting.
The second half opened with the two teams trading baskets, as Syracuse held a 45-39 lead at the first media timeout of the half (15:46). Gatling came out and asserted herself early with four points in the opening 1:34 of the half.
Following the media timeout, State would rattle off a 25-4 run over a span of 8:25, despite two brief power outages in the building. Gatling and Burke helped fuel the run, as the senior duo combined to score 22 points. State would then extend its lead to as many as 15 points (64-49) when Breezy Williams hit a three-pointer with 8:08 to play. The senior from Durham, N.C., came off the bench and provided a huge spark for the Pack, scoring nine points on 3-5 shooting.
Syracuse (22-9) would climb to within nine points (72-63), but the Wolfpack would go 7-of-8 from the free throw stripe over the course of the final 83 seconds to seal the win and advance to Saturday's semifinal.
State will take on No. 2 Notre Dame at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 at the Greensboro Coliseum in the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament.