Tonight’s game had just a slightly different feel to it from the Iowa game, but the result was the same: a quality road win for NC State. The Wolfpack had its work cut out, what with Jada Boyd sidelined with an ankle injury, and for a while there it looked like this was just not State’s night.
The Pack was effectively flummoxed by Georgia’s tough defense early on, and UGA built a 28-14 lead early in the second quarter. But NC State scored the last eight points of the first half, then the first 10 points of the second.
A Mimi Collins three gave NC State a 33-32 lead a minute into the third quarter, and State did not look back.
Pace and Efficiency
UGA is an elite offensive rebounding team and that was a serious problem for the Wolfpack defense as the Bulldogs were building their first-half lead. NC State also had some silly turnovers as it tried to get acclimated to Georgia’s zone defense. It was pretty rough for a while there.
But as good teams do, the Pack found answers. And its paint defense was fine, the rebounding aside—UGA shot under 30% inside the arc.
Mimi Collins stepped up large for the Pack in Boyd’s absence, scoring a game-high 19 points on 6-10 shooting. She also had eight rebounds, with five coming at the offensive end. Camille Hobby scored 10 on 5-10 shooting and grabbed six boards.
Diamond Johnson and Saniya Rivers struggled from the field, but both hit big shots down the stretch: Rivers sank a corner three to put State up seven as time expired in the third quarter, while Johnson delivered the death blow with a three of her own to put State back up seven with 2:40 to go.
NC State was outstanding at the free throw line, finished with a +5 turnover margin, and clamped down to limit UGA to 22 second-half points. They had to earn every bit of this one, and they did enough.