March 8, 2014
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GREENSBORO, N.C. - An injury-hampered No. 14 NC State women's basketball team (25-7) was defeated 83-48 by unbeaten No. 2 Notre Dame (31-0) in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal round Saturday evening at Greensboro Coliseum.
NC State played without first team All-ACC center Markeisha Gatling, who was sidelined with a bone bruise on her left leg. Gatling was dressed for warmups but was held out of the game as a precautionary measure. The Wolfpack was also without regular starter and consistent three-point threat Myisha Goodwin-Coleman (out for season since Feb. 20) and backup center Lakeesa Daniel (out for season since Feb. 21).
Freshman Miah Spencer would lead the scoring output for the Wolfpack in the loss, as she finished the game with 11 points.
Notre Dame was led in scoring by Jewell Loyd (16 points), while Kayla McBride (10) and Michaela Mabrey (10) also scored in double figures.
The Wolfpack shot 18-58 (31 percent) from the field in the loss. Notre Dame also operated well below its season shooting average, going 27-63 (42.9 percent) from the field and 26-32 (81.3 percent) from the free throw line.
Each team struggled with accuracy throughout the early portion of the game, but the Fighting Irish would take the early lead with a 12-0 run over the first 5:12.
Shortly after a NC State timeout (14:37), Len'Nique Brown and Kody Burke scored back-to-back baskets to get the Pack within eight points (12-4). The Irish then went on a 13-4 run over the next 5:33 to extend their advantage to 25-8.
Notre Dame would take a 46-18 lead into the halftime break, as the Irish shot 14-27 (51.9 percent) from the field and went 16-19 (84.2 percent) from the charity stripe. The Wolfpack did not shoot a free throw in the first half. Loyd led all scorers with 11 points in the opening stanza, while Brown led the Wolfpack with six points at the break.
The Irish would open the second half with a 9-3 run prior to the first media timeout of the second half (15:59) to take a 55-21 lead.
Trailing 59-23, NC State went on a 8-2 run over a span of 3:06, as Spencer and Breezy Williams each scored four points during this stretch.
State will now await its NCAA Tournament fate, as the selection show will take place on Monday, March 17. Stay tuned for details about a watch party with the Wolfpack.