With the opportunity to clinch at least a share of the ACC regular season title on Sunday, NC State left absolutely no doubt about the matter against a hapless Syracuse Orange team. The Wolfpack scored the first 11 points of the game and led 23-4 barely seven minutes into the contest, effectively rendering the last 33 minutes of the game academic.
Pace and Efficiency
Fittingly, it was the seniors who accounted for 20 of those first 23: Kayla Jones, Raina Perez, and Elissa Cunane each got off to quick starts in building the large lead.
The Pack took a 22-point advantage into halftime and then outscored the Orange by 14 in the third quarter to turn this one into a real laugher. All 12 of State’s scholarship players saw at least five minutes of playing time this afternoon, with only Genesis Bryant failing to score.
Jones led the Wolfpack with 18 points on 8-12 shooting in just 19 minutes of playing time, while Jakia Brown-Turner and Cunane each scored 14.
State was utterly dominant in the paint, shooting 68.5% on twos while rebounding nearly half of its missed shots. Syracuse had not chance to keep up under that onslaught, and certainly not while shooting as poorly as it did.
The victory clinched at least a share of the regular season crown, and NC State will be the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament. The Pack can go ahead and win the regular season outright by winning at Virginia Tech next Sunday. Regardless, they’ve accomplished something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years.