Wolfpack Upends No. 12 LSU, 89-79
Dec. 20, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State women’s basketball team picked up its fifth straight win Friday evening, defeating the 12th-ranked LSU Tigers by a final score of 89-79 in front of a lively crowd at Reynolds Coliseum. The win improved NC State to 11-1 on the year, its best start since the 1999-00 team began the campaign 14-0.
Markeisha Gatling and Kody Burke tied for a game-high 25 points in the win, marking the first time two NC State student-athletes had scored 20+ points in a single game since Burke (26) and Marissa Kastanek (24) accomplished the feat in a win over Auburn on Nov. 10, 2012. Gatling’s 25 points came on 11-13 shooting from the field. The senior has made 24 of her last 27 field-goal attempts in the team’s last two games.
Junior point guard Len’Nique Brown joined the pair in double figures, scoring 17 points and dishing out seven assists. She knocked down a career-high four three pointers in the win.
State (11-1) outrebounded LSU (9-2) in the win, pulling down 36 rebounds to the Tigers’ 35. The Wolfpack scored 40 points in the paint, 22 off LSU turnovers, and 19 from second-chance opportunities.
The Wolfpack got off to a great start, shooting 7-11 (63.6 percent) from the field en route to taking a 17-10 lead at the first media stoppage (14:12) of the half. NC State’s offense was keyed by strong early shooting by Kody Burke (3-4 FG) and Len’Nique Brown (2-3).
LSU took its first lead of the game at the 9:44 mark of the first half when Theresa Plaisance hit her second three-pointer of the opening 20 minutes to give the Tigers a 22-21 advantage.
LSU was able to push this lead to three points (24-21) before State ripped off a 13-1 run over the next 3:09 to take a 34-25 lead. During this run, Gatling recorded two put-back baskets to energize the large Reynolds Coliseum crowd.
The teams would trade baskets throughout the rest of the first half, with State taking a 43-34 lead into the halftime break. Gatling led all scorers with 16 points on 7-9 shooting from the field. As a team, the Wolfpack shot 17-36 (47.2 percent). LSU connected on 13-26 field goals in the first frame to shoot 50 percent. The Tigers were led in scoring by Theresa Plaisance’s 13 points.
State would extend its lead to as many as 12 points (49-37) when Kody Burke hit a mid-range jumper with 16:47 to play in the contest. LSU battled back over the course of the next few minutes, going on a 12-4 run over the course of the next 2:59 to pull within four points (53-49).
The teams traded field goals and fouls over the next few minutes with State taking an eight-point lead (72-64) into the final media timeout (3:58) of the contest. Gatling was charged with her fifth and final foul of the contest as the teams went into the stoppage. The senior would leave the contest with 25 points (11-13 shooting) and eight rebounds. Friday’s game marked the fourth time this season and fifth of her career when she scored 20 points or more.
From this point on, State scored 17 of the final 32 points to end with the 10-point victory.
NC State will next be in action on Saturday, Dec. 28 against Kansas State at 7:30 p.m. EST in the 2013 San Diego Surf ‘N Slam hosted by San Diego State University. Depending upon the results of the two games on Dec. 28, the Wolfpack will play either UC Riverside or host San Diego State on Monday, Dec. 30.