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NC State escapes Syracuse with 56-54 win

NCAA Womens Basketball: NC State at Connecticut Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The second half tonight was, uh, quite the pendulum swing. And pretty odd. NC State scored only six points in the third quarter to watch an eight-point halftime lead turn into a nine-point fourth quarter deficit. Syracuse scored only five points in the fourth quarter to watch its own advantage wither away.

Four Factors

... NC State Syracuse
... NC State Syracuse
eFG% 35.0 35.8
TO% 24.8 26.1
OR% 27.3 30.6
FTR 31.7 16.4

Pace and Efficiency

Syracuse 54 77 70.1 72.7
NC State 56 77 72.7 70.1

The Wolfpack out-scored Syracuse 13-0 to start the fourth quarter, though calling that a run would be a stretch, since it took almost eight minutes. Yes, Syracuse went eight minutes without a point in the fourth quarter, and so it was that the Pack was able to do just enough on a night where both teams shot the ball poorly.

Madison Hayes had a couple of key buckets down the stretch, including the go-ahead three with 3:11 to go. That was just the second three-pointer that State had made all night, and its first since early in the first quarter.

The Orange still had a chance in the waning seconds, down one and with the ball. They set up a good in-bounds play that worked to get a player open cutting to the rim, but the pass from the far sideline sailed high out of bounds. This was not game defined by quality execution.

The gross wins count all the same in the standings, though.