March 15, 2012
Box Score | Game Highlights
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State found a rhythm in the first round of the Women’s NIT, utilizing a balanced offensive attack to hang a season-high 88 points in an 88-78 win over High Point Thursday night at Reynolds Coliseum.
Kody Burke, Bonae Holston, Marissa Kastanek, and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman each logged double figure scoring performances as the Wolfpack exerted control from the opening tip, leading for the entire game.
“We’re in survive-and-advance mode, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like: you win you get to move on,” said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. “Our kids did what they needed to, and we get another game. This team has enjoyed playing, and they wanted to keep playing. It’s a reward, and great experience for our returners. It’s also an opportunity for our seniors to extend their careers.”
Burke notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Holston led the Pack with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Kastanek added 16 including 3-of-5 from long range. Goodwin-Coleman chipped in 13 and lead State with nine assists.
Holston went over 1,600 career points and 900 rebounds in the contest.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to win a championship, starting fresh with a new season,” said Burke. “We want to finish this season undefeated, so we’re going to take it one game at a time and hope to come out of this with a championship.”
The Wolfpack (19-15) outrebounded High Point (20-13) 52-38, and dealt 24 assists to the Panthers’ 12. An uptempo offense helped the Pack early on, as State dropped 14 fast-break points to High Point’s four in the first half. The game saw no lead changes and no ties, but remained close throughout. State’s lead stayed under 12 until 8:31 left in the game, and High Point never cut it closer than four.
State stretched the lead to double figures briefly to open the second half, but High Point battled back, closing the lead to five at 51-46 with 13:00 to play. The Pack fought off the run once again, storming back with a 9-2 run over the next 1:30 to make the lead a dozen.
At 68-58 with 8:34 to play, Erica Donovan and Kastanek buried three-pointers on consecutive possessions to stretch the lead to its largest point at 74-58. After a bucket from High Point, Burke converted a three-point play and added a layup on the next possession to make it 79-60 with 6:40 left.
From there, State cruised to a 88-78 victory, keeping at least a 15-point cushion on High Point until only 15 seconds remained. The Panthers scored five in the waning moments to set the final margin at 10.
High Point chopped an early 11-4 NC State lead to four before the first media timeout, but the Wolfpack responded with five straight out of the timeout to push the lead to 16-7. The Pack couldn’t extend the lead to double figures over the next eight minutes, but still held a 26-17 advantage at the under eight timeout.
Kastanek gave the State its first double-digit lead at 5:23 with her first three-pointer of the game to make it 33-23. High Point answered immediately, trimming the margin back to five at 33-28 by the under four timeout. The gap narrowed to as few as four before ending up 41-35 State at the break.
The Pack outscored High Point 14-4 on the fast break, but the Panthers hung close by forcing 14 first half turnovers. State shot 53.1% (17-for-32) from the field in the first half, led by Burke’s eight points on 3-for-7 shooting.
With the win, NC State advances to the second round of the Women’s NIT, earning the chance to host Appalachian State at Reynolds Coliseum this Saturday at 5 p.m.