If you’re an NC State fan, it’s understandable if you’re on cloud nine tonight. Not only did the men’s basketball improve to 3-0 with an impressive 90-59 victory over UMass Lowell, but the defending ACC Champion NC State women’s team defeated top-ranked South Carolina 54-46 – ending their 29 game winning streak.
Before tonight’s contest, it was announced that starter Jada Boyd would be out with a knee injury, setting the Wolfpack back even before tipoff. Coach Wes Moore slid grad transfer Raina Perez into the starting lineup, which proved to be beneficial as she finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds, and four assists. All-American Elissa Cunane started slow, but was huge for her team when needed totaling 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
The game was far from an offensive showcase, with both teams shooting under 30 percent for the contest. South Carolina led by three 12-9 at the end of the first stanza, but found themselves in unfamiliar territory trailing by one at the half.
Both teams would battle the last twenty minutes, with neither team being able to get any separation from the other. After trading leads to start the final quarter, NC State finally went ahead for good with a three from Perez at the 3:07 mark – making the score 46-44 in favor of State.
South Carolina would trim the Wolfpack lead to two, with just under a minute left before senior Kayla Jones answered with a three for the dagger with 27 seconds left putting, NC State ahead 51-46. Jones then followed that by taking a charge on the other end – sending NC State to a perfect 3-0 to start and the program’s third win over a top-ranked team. The Wolfpack will host Coastal Carolina Sunday at Reynolds Coliseum.
The men’s team would win in less dramatic fashion, building first half leads of 29-13 and 35-15 at the 3:57 mark before cruising to a 43-19 lead at the break. While defense has been the source for the Wolfpack during their first two contest, today the outside shooting stood out the most with NC State shooting 7-15 from beyond the arch during the first half.
The Wolfpack would finish 12-28 overall for the game just under 43%, which allowed the Wolfpack to coast without a serious threat for the contest. For the game, NC State shot 52% from the floor (34-65) outscoring the Hawks 47-40 in the second half for the 90-59 victory pushing their early season record to 3-0.
Freshman guard Cam Hayes continues to shine early in his collegiate career, tallying another double-digit scoring performance with 17 points and six assist. Senior Devon Daniels led the Wolfpack in scoring for the second game this season, just nipping Hayes’s performance with 18 points on 7-13 shooting. Junior Jericole Hellems continues to be a surprise spark in the Wolfpack offense matching Hayes with 17 points, five rebounds and, five assist.
NC State will finally be tested in the early season as they face UConn Saturday afternoon for a 12 pm showdown inside Bubbleville.