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NC State advances to Sweet Sixteen with 72-57 win over Kentucky

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at N.C. State Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

NC State started fast and finished strong to down Kentucky on Monday night and advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row. It was an excellent bounce-back effort from the Wolfpack offense and the Wildcats picked an especially bad day to shoot the ball poorly.


Four Factors NC State Kentucky
Four Factors NC State Kentucky
eFG% 57 38.4
TO% 26.2 8.2
OR% 51.1 31.3
FTR 48 8.7

Scoring and Efficiency

NC State 72 61 118.0 93.4
Kentucky 57 61 93.4 118.0

The Pack scored 25 points in the first quarter and for the most part kept Kentucky at arm’s length despite struggling with turnovers all night. Kentucky turned the ball over only five times and finished +11 in that category, which prevented the final result from being considerably worse for the Wildcats.

State made the most of its effective possessions with both good shooting and outstanding offensive rebounding. If you hit more than half your shots and grab more than half of your misses, chances are you had a pretty good night. And NC State nearly hit 1.2 points per possession.

Kiara Leslie led the way for State, scoring 26 points on 9-21 shooting, including a 4-9 effort from three. Leslie and center Elissa Cunane played the full 40 minutes, and every starter logged at least 33.

Kentucky tried to make NC State exert some extra energy in the first half with extended pressure, and the Cats had more bodies off the bench, but it wasn’t an issue for the Wolfpack in the fourth quarter. It was UK that wilted down the stretch, managing only nine points over the last 10 minutes.

State’ll get some rest now, then head to Greensboro, where it will face second-seeded Iowa.