March 21, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - Markeisha Gatling had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Kody Burke added 12 points and nine boards in leading NC State to a 60-55 win over Richmond in the first round of the Postseason Women's NIT.
NC State (17-16) will play at James Madison on Sunday at 2 p.m., in Harrisonburg, Va., in the second round of the WNIT. The Dukes won 77-62 over North Carolina A&T in other first-round action.
"Coming into this game we knew it would be a tough matchup, given their style of basketball," said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. "They're a solid basketball team. I'm really proud of our team down the stretch when we had to make a play, we made one on defense and on offense. We made our free throws down the stretch, so I'm really proud of our team finding a way to get it done."
The Wolfpack led 28-24 at the half, but went cold from the field over the first 12:30 of the second half, making just three shots over that time frame. That allowed the Spiders to crawl back into the game, and ultimately go ahead 41-35 on a steal and layup by Amber Nichols with just over seven minutes left.
Still down by six points, Marissa Kastanek drove to the hoop and converted a three-point play to get State to within three, 43-40 with 5:39 to go.
Burke did the same moments later with a stick-back bucket and was fouled on the play. After the free throw, the game was tied 47-all at the 3:25 mark.
Richmond regained the lead on a layup from Kristina King, but Gatling scored on back-to-back possessions to put State up for good, 51-49, with 2:03 to go.
The Wolfpack iced the game by making 10-of-11 free throws down the stretch, offsetting a game-high 20 points from Richmond's Becca Wann.
NC State also controlled the boards, compiling a 44-30 advantage. That led to 17 second-chance points, and a 26-18 point advantage in the paint.
Ashley Eli opened up an 11-6 State advantage with a jumper from the foul line at the 12:06 mark, forcing the first called timeout of the night by Richmond.
That five-point advantage was the largest of the half for either club. The Spiders would go up, 16-14, at the 6:58 mark on jumper from Wann that finished off a 10-3 run for the visitors.
Burke and Kastanek answered with their first buckets of the game to swing the lead back to the Wolfpack at 18-16. Myisha Goodwin-Coleman led a late first-half charge with a pair of three-pointers that allowed the Wolfpack to take a 28-24 lead into intermission.