• 45°

NC State women topple Pitt to remain undefeated at 16-0

By Ken Tysiac

Associated Press

RALEIGH (AP) — Kiara Leslie has ensured that Grace Hunter’s injury won’t keep No. 8 North Carolina State from building on the best start in school history.

Leslie led the Wolfpack with 16 points, five assists and three steals in a 63-34 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night. N.C. State (16-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) is the lone remaining undefeated team in the country after getting 31 points and 13-for-15 shooting from Leslie on Sunday in the team’s first game after Hunter suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Hunter was leading the team in scoring when she was hurt last week in a win over Duke. N.C. State coach Wes Moore said Leslie has improved her patience after sometimes playing out of control early in the season.

“I’m pleased as anything to see her making good decisions, knowing when to attack, knowing when to bounce it out and be patient,” Moore said. “So that’s important, but obviously (so is) knocking down some shots and providing some scoring after losing what we did with Grace.”

Pitt (9-7, 0-2) was led by Kauai Bradley, who scored eight points. The Panthers shot just 22.2 percent from the field and missed 10 of their first 11 3-point attempts.

“They’ve got a great defensive basketball team,” Pittsburgh coach Lance White said, “and we just don’t have the firepower that it takes to be able to be competitive with that type of defense.”

Leslie scored 14 points in the first half as N.C. State’s guards took advantage of the defensive attention Pitt paid to the Wolfpack post players. Leslie made a pair of 3-pointers, and fellow guards Aislinn Konig and Kai Crutchfield each scored all of their nine points on 3-pointers. DD Rogers added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Wolfpack.

“When any teammate goes down, everybody has to step up,” Leslie said. “And I just happen to be scoring a little bit more. My teammates are doing a great job getting me the ball in the right spots, and I’ve been able to hit the shot.”

No. 2 Louisville was the only other undefeated team left in the country, but it lost to top-ranked Notre Dame on Thursday.

BIG PICTURE

Pittsburgh: After opening ACC play with consecutive losses on the road to top-10 opponents N.C. State and Notre Dame, the Panthers get to play four in a row at home. They have shot below 27 percent from the field in their last two games.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack are cruising, having won by at least 11 points in 14 of 16 games. Playing good defense without fouling has been a staple for N.C. State, which entered Thursday’s game ranked fourth in the nation in fewest fouls per game and didn’t commit a foul in the first 11 minutes.

KEY STAT

N.C. State held Pittsburgh to 7-for-40 (17.5 percent) shooting through the first three quarters after the Wolfpack entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (33.4 percent).

QUICK HITS

N.C. State’s injury troubles were compounded when senior guard Armani Hawkins was helped off the floor with a knee injury in the second half. She will have tests Friday to determine the severity of the injury. … Pittsburgh hasn’t won an ACC game since Feb. 1, 2018. … The Wolfpack never trailed and have trailed for just 6 minutes, 18 seconds over three ACC games.

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh: Plays host to Boston College on Sunday.

N.C. State: Visits Virginia on Sunday.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Comments

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire

Education

UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10

Nation/World

$1.9 billion relief bill closer to passage in House

Nation/World

Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely

Coronavirus

Advisers OK single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J

Local

Post wins 18 N.C. Press Association Awards

Education

Cooper vetoes bill that would force K-12 schools to reopen

Local

Lanning named Spencer’s fire chief

Crime

Blotter: Feb. 26

Crime

Salisbury, Kannapolis men charged with soliciting sexual acts

News

Racial bias ‘deeply entrenched’ in report critical of Apex Police Department

Nation/World

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

Elections

City council again dismisses idea of adding new member, focus now on recommendation to delay elections

Business

‘Let’s make some money:’ Loosened restrictions praised by bar owners, baseball team

High School

Salisbury High bucks historical trend in dominant shutout of West Rowan

Enochville

Garage declared total loss after Enochville fire

Crime

Cooper, N.C. prison officials agree to release 3,500 inmates

Coronavirus

Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Rowan, six for the week

Crime

Blotter: Man brandishes AR-15, runs over motorcycle at Rockwell-area gas station

Crime

Salisbury man charged with exploitation of minor

Crime

Road rage incident results in assault charges

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed