March 17, 2012
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RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State women's basketball team had its season come to an end in the second round of the Postseason WNIT Saturday night 66-62 to Appalachian State at Reynolds Coliseum.
ASU (27-6) overcame a six-point halftime deficit by shooting 57.7 percent over the final 20 minutes to advance to the Round of 16 and will face either Virginia and Richmond next week.
"It's not how we wanted our season to end; we had hopes of playing more basketball, but it just wasn't meant to be today," said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. "Appalachian State is a very good basketball team and we knew this coming in. It was not a situation where we overlooked them or anything. I felt like the thing that has plagued us all season got us again tonight and it was a just a little bit of a lack of focus and lack of consistency."
Sophomore Kody Burke paced NC State (19-16) with 21 points (17 coming in the first half alone) and 11 rebounds for her second-straight double-double, and fifth of the year. Bonae Holston had nine points and 12 boards, and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman had eight.
Anna Freeman led all scorers with 26 points for the Mountaineers. Katie Mallow tossed in 14 points.
Trailing by six points at the half, Appalachian State stormed out of the gate with an 11-4 run to re-take the lead, 36-35, after a steal and fast-break layup by Freeman five minutes into the second half.
It was the visitors first lead since it was 16-15 all the way back at the 12:20 mark of the opening half.
The lead grew to seven, 51-44, on a three-ball from Maryah Sydnor with nine minutes to play, but consecutive buckets from Krystal Barrett and Holston got it back to a one-possession game a minute later.
The resilient Mountaineers inched its advantage back to 60-51 after another three-pointer from Freeman, but State was able to mount once final push getting to within two points in the final 19 seconds, before Freeman sealed the win with two free throws with six seconds left.
Burke scored State's first 10 points of the game and led by three in the early moments of the Round of 32 game between these two in-state foes.
ASU took the lead briefly but Barrett connected from distance and it was 16-15 Wolfpack at the 12:20 mark of the first half.
Burke's putback off a miss from Marissa Kastanek and the ensuing free throw completed a three-point play - giving State a 21-16 lead.
The Mountaineers would go scoreless for a stretch of seven minutes, 10 seconds that allowed the Pack to compile a 13-2 run, and a 23-16 lead.
In the final seconds of the first stanza, Kastanek stole an in-bounds pass and layed the ball in just before the buzzer sounded to give State a 31-25 at the halftime.
Harper summed up her third season with this. "We were a little inconsistent with our focus at times. When we played well we were a really good basketball team, but we just couldn't put together that same type of focus and play game after game."
The end of the season also brings an end to the careers of five Wolfpack players: Tia Bell, Kim Durham, Holston, Emili Tasler and Paige Woodard.
Tasler, who experienced everything from missing her first two seasons due to knee injuries, to being the only player on this year's club to start all 35 games, explained her basketball journey at State.
"I wouldn't change a thing! It has been a great experience, all of the seniors have grown and we have had the opportunity to have two great coaches and I wouldn't change anything."
Holston finishes her carer with 1,624 points, eighth all-time, and 916 rebounds, the sixth most at State.