Feb. 28, 2013
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RALEIGH, N.C. – Marissa Kastanek celebrated Senior Night by scoring 14 points in her final game at Reynolds Coliseum, as the NC State women’s basketball team defeated Virginia, 80-59, in an ACC contest Thursday evening.
Kastanek shot 5-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point range, while pulling down four rebounds and dishing out three assists in 38 minutes.
“It was pretty emotional,” Kastanek said after the game. “We were in the office the other day and I was talking about how I was going to cry, and they [the staff and her teammates] said, ‘No, you can’t cry – it’s just a basketball game!’” I visualized myself not crying, I told myself not to cry, and I didn’t.
“It’s not sad. We still have to play Clemson, we still have the ACC Tournament and we still have postseason play, so I’m not done. It wasn’t my last game, it was just my last home game.”
Markeisha Gatling led the way with a career-high 21 points on an efficient 10-of-13 shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds, as Kody Burke recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Len’Nique Brown dished out a game-high eight assists.
“I think tonight you saw we have a lot of different pieces to the puzzle,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “I thought we did this one together, we weren’t relying on just one person, and we were able to establish a presence. It opens up things for Kody, it opens up opportunities for Marissa and Len’Nique handled the ball well with eight assists. It’s just one of those nights that everything was clicking.”
Gatling’s 21 points also marked the first time in her career that she eclipsed the 20-point threshold.
“I knew I had to be aggressive before the game,” Gatling said. “Coach [Harper] said they were going to be aggressive.”
The Cavaliers scored the first basket of the game on its first possession, but that would be their only lead of the game, as the Wolfpack responded with a 10-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by Kastanek, and never looked back.
Three NC State players reached double-figure scoring in the first half, as Gatling scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, Burke added 12 points and six rebounds, and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman chipped in 11 more to give the Pack a 43-33 lead heading into the locker room.
“I thought our offensive execution was stellar in the first half,” said Harper. “The kids shared the ball well, they finished, had a post presence and knocked down shots. I’m really, really proud of that offensive effort.”
NC State shot 19-of-36 (.528) from the field and 5-of-10 (.500) from beyond the three-point line in the first half, while holding Virginia to 44.1 percent shooting and an 0-for-11 performance from beyond the arc.
Virginia would cut its deficit to as few as four at 47-43 with 14:48 remaining, but the Wolfpack countered once again with a 13-0 run to firmly put the game out of reach. NC State opened up its largest lead of the night at 77-56 when Brown connected on a jumper with 3:02 left in the game.
The Pack would close out the final minutes, as Kastanek subbed out of the game to a standing ovation on Kay Yow Court for the final time with 1:40 left on the clock.
NC State finished the night shooting 32-of-63 at a cool 50.8 percent clip, while also draining nine of its 18 attempts from downtown. The Wolfpack held the Cavs to 39 percent from the field and just 1-of-18 (.056) from three-point land.
NC State dished out a season-high 23 assists and committed just 11 turnovers, marking the sixth time this season the Pack recorded 20 or more assists in a game. The team has also held its last three opponents to just 2-of-35 shooting from beyond the arc
Virginia shot 12-of-13 (.923) from the free throw line and was led by Ataira Franklin’s 23 points.
The Wolfpack will close out the regular season Sunday, Mar. 3, at Clemson at 2 p.m.