TIM PEELER: Wolfpack Women Set School Record with 14 Blocked Shots
Jan. 3, 2006
BY TIM PEELER
RALEIGH -- When NC State center and leading scorer Tiffany Stansbury got her second foul just four minutes into Monday night's game against No. 25 Virginia Tech, it appeared that Kay Yow's Wolfpack might not be able to keep its unbeaten streak against the Hokies.
But something unexpected happened, as Stansbury sat on the bench for 16 straight minutes until halftime.
Sophomore Khadijah Whittington and junior Gillian Goring filled in more than capably, affecting so many shots throughout the game that the Wolfpack set a school record with 14 blocked shots in the 65-44 victory over the previously unbeaten Hokies.
"We knew we had to come out and play strong and big," said Whittington, who had four blocks and 10 points in the game.
Whittington scored all her points before halftime, allowing the Wolfpack (10-3) to take a 27-19 advantage at intermission. Goring had six of her 10 points in the first half, and finished the game with six blocked shots.
"Khadijah did a great job scoring for us during that period of time and holding them on defense," Yow said. "Gillian came off the bench and gave us good minutes. We were holding our own and doing well without Tiffany, knowing that she could come back in for us in the second half."
And that's when Stansbury did all of her damage, scoring all 14 of her points in the second half as the Wolfpack gradually pulled away to win its ACC opener.
It was a frustrating situation for the Hokies (12-1), who accomplished their goal of getting Stansbury in trouble, but never figured that Whittington and Goring would hurt them so much.
"We were so set on stopping Stansbury, we forgot about the other posts and let them have their way with us," said Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger.
It didn't help the Hokies' cause that their leading scorer, Kerri Gardin, got into foul trouble in the first half as well. The Wolfpack seemed to handle Stansbury's absence better than the Hokies handled their star's foul trouble.
Overall, it was a stellar defensive performance by the Wolfpack, which held Virginia Tech to its lowest point total in nearly two years. The Hokies made just 18 field goals and had 28 turnovers against a combination of zone and man-to-man defenses, finishing the game with a season-low 27.7 shooting percentage.
It wasn't a perfect game, but Yow admitted that she was pleased at how the Wolfpack's defense has progressed.
"I thought we were more solid tonight on defense than we have been all year," said Yow, whose team plays at Wake Forest on Saturday. "That is what it is going to take for us to be successful in the ACC: solid, solid defense.
"We have to make it tough to score against us."
Against the Hokies, that mission was accomplished, even with the team's top scorer sitting on the bench most of the first half.
You may contact Tim Peeler at firstname.lastname@example.org.