Well, something tells me it was a bit of an oversight to have NC State unranked. The Wolfpack made a major statement in Raleigh on Sunday afternoon, taking it to second-ranked UConn for the majority. Saniya Rivers played like an All-American, and when she’s that good, clearly Wes Moore has a team that can beat anybody.
After a sluggish opening quarter, NC State was outstanding at the offensive end the rest of the way, shooting better than 50% from the field in each of the last three quarters. Rivers had a hand in everything, and finished with 33 points and 10 boards—plus five assists, three blocks, and three steals.
It was a historic performance for Rivers—nobody has gone for 30-10-5 against UConn in the last 25 years—and it delivered the Pack’s first win over UConn since 1998, as well as a measure of revenge for that NCAA tournament game a couple years ago.
She’s the big story, but this was a tremendous collective effort. NC State averaged 1.22 points per possession, shooting over 60% inside the arc and grabbing 40% of its missed shots. The Huskies had no answers defensively.
Aziaha James turned in another good performance, while Zoe Brooks showed that the stage wasn’t too big, finishing with 12 points on 6-11 shooting (6-8 inside the arc). Mimi Collins and River Baldwin combined to grab 14 rebounds; Collins had four offensive boards.
What a day. What a weekend! This State team should vault into the top 10 of the major polls this week, and today they showed they can still be a major factor on the national scene.