Women's Basketball Falls in Final Tuneup to Premier Players
RALEIGH, N.C. 11 second half 3-pointers by the Premier Players proved to be the difference in a 61-49 win over NC State in a women’s basketball exhibition game Wednesday night at Reynolds Coliseum.
In the final tuneup before Sunday’s season opener, the Wolfpack was able to take a 22-20 lead into intermission, but that lead was short lived as the Premier Players bombed away with four 3-pointers in the opening 2:14 of the second half to take a 33-22 lead.
A team made up of former Division I players showed no signs of tiring in their eighth game in as many nights and coming off a convincing win over No. 9 Georgia on Tuesday night in Athens.
The Pack would claw back and take a 35-34 lead after putting together a 13-2 run to answer the shooting barrage by the visitors. A steal and a fast-break layup by Chanita Jordan capped the spurt for the Wolfpack.
However, Sherell Sowho responded with one of her six 3-pointers in the second half and the Premier Players would not give up the lead the remaining 14 minutes of play.
Senior All-ACC selection Khadijah Whittington had another monster game with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore forward Lucy Ellison had an efficient night with eight points (4-4 FG) and eight rebounds, while Jordan added eight points off the bench for the Pack.
Sowho tossed in 18 points to lead Premier Players, while Tynecia Pam had nine points and 13 rebounds.
“If you had asked me coming into this game, I would have never thought it would shake down like it did,” said NC State coach Kay Yow. “I would have thought our perimeter would have outscored our inside players.”
The Pack struggled all night from the outside, converting only a late 3-pointer by sophomore guard Nikitta Gartrell in 17 attempts from beyond the arc.
“We need to have a lot more scoring from our perimeter,” said Yow. “We need them to get more involved, getting to the free throw line and putting down shots and we have better shooters than what we showed tonight.”
The first half was tight throughout with five ties and neither team leading by more than five points. With the game tied 18-18, Whittington knocked down a pair of jumpers in the final 2:16 to send NC State into the lockerroom up two, 22-20.
“We out rebounded them 42-38 and had 17 offensive rebounds with Lucy Ellison coming down with five,” explained Yow. “I thought Lucy played within herself and as a result had a great game. She played a game that helped us tonight.”
“We need to get through to everybody else.”
The Wolfpack will regroup and come back Sunday to host UNC Greensboro in the season opener at 2 pm.