Wolfpack women fall short

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 19, 2007

By Joedy McCreary

Associated Press

RALEIGH — Freshman Brittany Mitch had nothing to do with Duke’s biggest victory of the season. She made up for it by saving her team from a letdown.

Benched for the Blue Devils’ recent win over Maryland, Mitch scored eight of her 10 points during a decisive spurt as No. 1 Duke earned a 65-51 victory over pesky N.C. State on Thursday.

“I got the chance to talk to (coach Gail Goestenkors) after the (Maryland) game and talked about what I need to do to help myself and help the team,” Mitch said. “She said, ‘Be aggressive.’ So that’s what I did tonight — I was aggressive.”

The Blue Devils (19-0, 5-0 ACC) used a 27-8 run that bridged halftime to take command. Now, they can focus on their next challenge — Monday’s visit to No. 4 Tennessee.

“It’s about this team getting better and better,” Goestenkors said. “It was about showing N.C. State and ourselves that we’re not going to overlook anybody.”

Gillian Goring had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead N.C. State (13-6, 2-2), which lost on its home court for the first time in 11 games. Former Salisbury star Shayla Fields had six points and four rebounds.

“We missed a lot of shots in the paint, either off penetration or cuts,” N.C. State interim coach Stephanie Glance said. “That really became a factor in the game.”