For the second time this season, NC State has defeated the AP No. 1 team in the country—on the road. The Wolfpack Women have proven that they’re as good as anybody, and on Monday night they made their case as the best team in the ACC by taking down Louisville.
Pace and Efficiency
The two teams were knotted at 18 after the first quarter, after which the game really slowed to a crawl for both offenses. The Wolfpack shot just 4-17 in the second quarter, but the Cardinals were only 3-13. State won that ugly period 11-7, taking a four-point lead into halftime. Considering that quarter included a six-minute field goal drought for the Pack, getting out of it with the lead was a good result.
And in the second half, State’s offense came alive, as the Pack shot 16-29 over the final 20 minutes to secure a surprisingly easy win over the Cardinals. NC State doubled its lead from five to 10 after 90 seconds of play in the fourth quarter, and Louisville never did find the offense needed to mount a serious threat after that.
NC State had four players in double figures, with Jakia Brown-Turner, Elissa Cunane, and Jada Boyd each tallying 16 points. Raina Perez added 15 and made a team-high three three-pointers. That balanced production allowed the Pack to overcome an off night from Kayla Jones, who shot just 2-10.
NC State put the clamps on Louisville, compounding the Cardinals’ struggle from the field by shutting down the glass. There were few second opportunities for Louisville, and that was a huge part of State’s success defensively.
The Wolfpack also limited a typically very-accurate Louisville offense to just 36.6% shooting on twos. Louisville had just one impact player tonight—Dana Evans, unsurprisingly—which wasn’t enough to overcome NC State’s balanced effort.
I can’t say enough about this Wolfpack team. To bounce back from a loss like this makes one hell of a statement. With luck, State’s adversity is behind it, and the team will be at full strength the rest of the way. And there are some big accomplishments in sight.