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NC State women’s hoops shows its toughness in 54-46 win over No. 1 South Carolina

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We’re number one?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 08 ACC Women’s Tournament - Florida State v NC State Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There will be no instructional videos made from the offense on display Thursday night in Columbia, but do we care about that? We do not. Because NC State got the better of No. 1 South Carolina—a team that hadn’t lost a game since November of 2019—in the Gamecocks’ house.

What a big-time win for Wes Moore’s program. I don’t think anybody’s shocked about this result, though, which is a credit to how good NC State has been lately.

Four Factors

Four Factors NC State South Carolina
Four Factors NC State South Carolina
eFG% 32.4 28.4
TO% 13.1 16.0
OR% 30.6 37.0
FTR 17.6 14.9

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
South Carolina 46 69 66.7 78.3
NC State 54 69 78.3 66.7

South Carolina won the first quarter, 12-9, and NC State won the second quarter, 12-8, to give the Wolfpack a 21-20 halftime edge. These two teams really struggled to make shots, but both also played outstanding defense all night, and it was a grind-it-out affair for the full 40 minutes.

Kayla Jones was NC State’s MVP tonight, scoring 16 points on 6-13 shooting, including a three-pointer with 27 seconds remaining that pushed State’s lead from two to five, essentially sealing the deal. She also had 12 boards. Elissa Cunane struggled against South Carolina’s size, finishing 3-13 from the field, but she was 8-8 at the free throw line. That part of her game is always reliable.

The Pack’s defense limited South Carolina to 29% shooting on twos, and while the Gamecocks finished with an edge on the offensive boards, they were just too inaccurate to make that advantage count. They also finished just 4-11 at the free throw line, and in a game like this one, that hurt a lot.

State was just marginally better than South Carolina in a few places to turn the tide and deliver the huge road win. In a contest between a couple of tough teams, State was a bit tougher. Let’s go get some ice cream.