N. C. State's women's basketball team saved the weekend for State by downing AP number 20 Syracuse 67-61. State after this win has a WarrenNolan RPI of 24.
At the beginning of the game against Syracuse, it certainly did not look like the team was as excited to be playing Syracuse as they were when playing LSU. Maybe the opening conference game pressure got to both teams because this game certainly was not as well played as the State-LSU game. Syracuse shot 33% for the game while State shot 39%. For the State-LSU game both teams shot about 50% with State just over and LSU just under. What matters though is that State came back from a 9 point deficit with about nine minutes left to secure the big win.
Markeisha Gatling did not shoot nearly as well as she has been, but she did score 14 points while totaling 15 rebounds. In order to score those 14 points, Gatling went 5 of 13 from the field. She missed more shots from the field in this game than she did in her previous four games. Part of the problem was that Gatling was off while a larger part of the problem was the Syracuse defense. The Cuse at times uses a zone press; however, their tendency in this game was to pack the lane around Gatling. As such, when Gatling received the ball, she was further from the basket than she normally is forcing her to shoot short jumpers instead of bank shots. While Gatling can shoot these at a high percentage, she did not in this game. In the second half after a number of misses, Gatling looked at her hand then complained to the ref. I didn't see anything flagrant. Gatling just was off. In the end, packing the lane around Gatling payed off for State with Miah Spencer, Myisha Goodwin-Coleman and Kody Burke hitting threes to get State back into a game in which they were down by 9 with nine minutes left. I would bet that more teams are going to surround Gatling like Syracuse did and make other State players beat them. Of course, Goodwin-Coleman, Spencer, Brown and especially Burke can do that.
As to the refs, a number of calls were found objectionable by the Pack fans; however, I thought the refs were consistent. The team playing at the highest level received the benefit of the 50-50 calls. Fortunately, State was that team playing the best down the stretch.
Over the last three seasons, a man sitting just behind me has referred to Myisha Goodwin-Coleman as "little momma" drawing a smile from her, or criticizing her for being the last one to the huddle. Today, I decided to ask him if her knew her. He is her father and lives in Northern Virginia in a township (Lorton) close to where I live (Dumfries). At times I have been critical of Myisha's play; however, I can write that Myisha is having a very good year and played a very good game against Syracuse. I was not sure Myisha could play the two where she is playing due to being five-four. However, she has flourished there because she does not have to worry about running the offense as point guard (she played point in her first three years) and can concentrate on shooting the three. She is a deadly three point shooter. I watched her during warm-ups, and she just did not miss. I might add that she also plays pretty good defense. Myisha is not fleet of foot, but she keeps her woman in front of her. I know Myisha's dad appreciated hearing that "daddy's little girl" played a good game.
THE USUAL KRYSTAL BARRETT RANT
I really want to write something positive about Krystal's play. I do. Krystal did score 10 points total shooting 3 for 8 from the field and 2 for 4 from the three point line. In fairness to Krystal, it should be stated that some of her shots were forced in the sense that the shot clock was running down and she was the only option.
However, what made me cringe was a sequence with about nine minutes left. State pulled within 1 only to go down by 3 when the Cuse hit two free throws. Then Krystal took over with a horrible turnover, a missed three, and another horrible turnover. The Cuse scored after each instance going up by 9. I thought the game was over, but a thirty second clock and a senior State team had no quit. After Krystal's last turnover, Coach Moore did something that I cannot remember Coach Harper doing. He sat Barrett down, and she did not play one more second. Instead Coach went to Ashley Williams, a walk on, until he felt comfortable putting 'Nique Brown, who had four fouls, back into the game. Miah Spencer who was instrumental in the win with no turnovers, significant plays and scores in the second half should get more playing time if Barrett cannot keep from playing out of control. Just a fans point of view.
UNC is up next Thursday. Coach Moore irritated me by initially saying it was just another game. After listening to some of his UNC comments in the Post Game show, I now know he feels about UNC just like me.