Women Use Hot Start to Defeat Aggies, 75-61
BY DAVID PERCIVAL
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State women’s basketball team used a quick start to beat North Carolina A&T 75-61 Sunday afternoon in Reynolds Coliseum. The Pack held the Aggies scoreless for nearly six minutes to start the game as they jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Khadijah Whittington led State with 21 points and 14 rebounds for her 10th double-double in 12 games on the year.
“I thought we got a lot of good things out of this game.” head coach Kay Yow said, “Of course whenever you play an in-state team they are real fired up and ready to play.”
Nikitta Gartrell helped lead the Pack with 14 points and dished out a career-best seven assists with no turnovers. Shayla Fields added 12 points and Lucy Ellison hauled in a career-high 14 rebounds. Megan Zullo scored 15 points behind 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Zullo canned a pair of 3's in a span of 13 seconds late that turned the game into a rout.
The Aggies clawed their way back into the game after falling behind early. A jumper by Amber Bland made it a 31-29 affair in favor the Pack with just over two minutes until halftime.
The Wolfpack ultimately led 38-31 at the half on 50 percent shooting from the field and a balanced offensive attack. Fields led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with nine points, while Whittington and Gartrell each tossed in eight.
The Pack’s tenacious defense held the Aggies to just over 31 percent shooting for the game and a 4-for-17 effort behind the arc. NC State got 22 points off of 16 Aggie turnovers.
In the second half it was much of the same for the Pack as they scored 15 points off 10 turnovers. State took its lead to a game-high 22 points with 2:19 remaining on Zullo's final trey of the afternoon.
Lamona Smalley led the way for NC A&T with 14 points. Jaleesa Sams chipped in 12.
“I thought our guards were more aggressive than the last two games,” said Yow. “They really put the ball on the floor more, got to the basket, and created good scoring opportunities."
The women’s basketball team will be back in action Friday, Dec. 21, at Mississippi for its final non-conference road game of the season.