NC State Women's Basketball in the ACC
May 13, 2003
Twenty-six years have gone by since NC State women's basketball joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 29-year program has been there since day one. Since 1978 the Wolfpack has collected five regular season titles, four ACC Tournament titles and has been in the finals 12 times. The nine 50th Anniversary team members, including Genia Beasley, Summer Erb, Trudi Lacey, Rhonda Mapp, Chasity Melvin, Linda Page, Andrea Stinson, Trena Trice and Susan Yow, have helped to make the ACC one of the top-rated conferences in the NCAA. With current head coach Kay Yow at the helm, a place she has had the honor of holding since the inception of the conference, NC State women's basketball and the ACC have been synonymous. The strength and level of play in the ACC has provided a direct path to the NCAA tournament year in and year out. And, NC State is not only on this path of success, the other eight members of the conference have experienced success of equal measure.
NC State set the standard for its own tradition by winning the first ACC regular season title in 1978. The honor was the first of five for the Wolfpack, which is second in the conference and tied with Duke. Virginia leads the way with an impressive 10 regular-season titles, which includes a stretch of six-consecutive. Maryland suppressed NC State's hopes of winning the tournament title as well, when it defeated the Pack, 89-82. In 1979, the Pack again found itself in a situation to take the ACC Tournament title. However, history repeated itself as Maryland narrowly defeated NC State, 75-73. Revenge was on the minds of the red and white as the 1980 season rolled around. This time, the NC State women prevailed. The Wolfpack went on to win both the ACC regular season and tournament championship that year. The tournament final again featured Maryland and NC State, but the Wolfpack had seen enough of Maryland's victories and consequently won the ACC Championship game, 85-75.
The first-ever championship for NC State was won with a team led by six members who eventually went on to record more than 1,000 career points. Leading the way was NC State's all-time scoring leader, Genia Beasley with 2,367 points. The squad also featured Trudi Lacey, former Charlotte Sting assistant coach, who went on to record 1,957 points, Ginger Rouse (1,509), Angie Armstrong (1,330), Connie Rogers (1,150) and Ronnie Loughlin (1,126). Three years later in 1983, the Pack won its third ACC regular season title after finishing 12-1 in the conference. Once again the Pack advanced to face Maryland in the championship game of the ACC tournament. The Terps and the Pack had since faced one another in five of the first six ACC Championships. And once again Maryland defeated the Pack, 84-81.
The year 1985 proved to be another successful season for NC State as it went on to win both the regular season and tournament titles, the second such feat for the Pack. The accomplishment has since only been repeated by Maryland, Virginia and Duke. Maryland is the only team to win both titles, three seasons. NC State did advance to the championship final, but lost to Maryland, 89-82. The year was highlighted with a 14-game winning streak, which was at the time, a record. This remarkable season was capped off by an invitation to the coveted WNIT, the only such honor in the program's 29-year history.
NC State went on to win three more tournament titles, coming in 1987, 1990 and most recently in 1991. The '87 team was guided by Trena Trice, who in addition to leading her team to an ACC tournament title, won five awards. Trice was named first team All-ACC, first team All-ACC Tournament, Women's Sports Foundation All-America, Street and Smith All-America, as well as the team MVP. In her four years, she led NC State to a 90-33 overall record, a 50-16 ACC record and four NCAA tournament appearances. WNBA standouts such as Stinson, Sharon Manning and Mapp were a part of the successful 1990 team that went on to win the ACC regular season title. The trio, along with current assistant coach, Jenny Palmateer (Kuziemski) posted a 12-2 conference mark, while collecting significant victories against No. 12 Maryland, No. 15 South Carolina, No. 25 Old Dominion and No. 10 Virginia. The squad eventually advanced to the NCAA Midwest region semifinals, but was eliminated by Texas on its home court. Stinson went on to claim NC State's first ACC Player of the Year honor.
The most recent ACC crown was earned in 1991, which again featured Stinson, Manning, Mapp and Palmateer, but this time had the added talents of Tammy Gibson and Danyel Parker. The 90-91 squad was ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation for much of the year on its way to finishing with a slate of 27-5. The season was highlighted by an appearance in the NCAA tournament for the ninth time in 10 seasons. NC State advanced to the East Regionals, but lost to Connecticut 72-58.
Within the last 11 seasons, the Wolfpack Women have made seven NCAA tournament appearances, among them a trip to the 1998 Final Four, three trips to regionals, five appearances in the second round and seven first round tickets. All in all, NC State has made 16 appearances in 20 years, which encompasses 10 Sweet 16 trips, and one trip to both the Elite Eight and the Final Four.
With all of the success in the ACC over the last 25 years, the competition is as strong as ever. The nine teams continue to attract some of the best prep players in the nation, which in turn will bring continued success for years to come.
NC State And The ACC By The Numbers