NC State’s recent offensive struggles were nowhere to be found on Thursday in Greensboro, mostly because the paint was wide open against ... whatever it was that Syracuse was doing.
A six-point halftime lead ballooned quickly in the third quarter for NC State, which shot 11-15 from the floor in the period and 21-31 overall in the second half. The Pack attempted just 11 threes all day, because it shot 30-45 inside the arc.
River Baldwin was a perfect 7-7 from the floor, while Camille Hobby shot 7-12 and Jakia Brown-Turner was 6-11, including 2-4 from deep, in one of her better performances of the season.
Syracuse scored the first six points of the day, but that was about the end of the good news for the Orange, as NC State scored the next eight, and it was JBT’s three that put State up for good, at 8-6, midway through the first quarter. Syracuse managed to hang around for the rest of the half, but proved no match for State’s offensive efficiency in the second half.
NC State led by 11 after the third and pushed that advantage to 20 midway through the fourth quarter on a Hobby bucket; from there it was academic.
Hobby and JBT led all scorers with 16 points apiece, Baldwin had 14 off the bench, and Aziaha James and Madison Hayes each scored 10.
The Pack turned the ball over too much, but in addition to the good shooting, State also grabbed over 40% of its missed shots. It was a thorough dismantling.
The win, which was the 800th of Wes Moore’s coaching career, advances NC State to face No. 1 Notre Dame at 2 p.m. tomorrow. On this side of the bracket, Wake Forest has upset its way into the quarters, taking down No. 5 FSU. The winner of State-ND meets the winner of Wake-Louisville in the semis.