Wolfpack follows upset by controlling Coastal Carolina 98-46
Published 8:36 pm Sunday, December 6, 2020
By Bob Sutton
RALEIGH — Raina Perez scored 17 points and No. 8 North Carolina State looked primed for a big jump in the national rankings by routing Coastal Carolina 98-46 on Sunday.
N.C. State (4-0), which has won its first four games for 10 straight seasons, took over with its defense for a dominating 32-4 second-quarter advantage.
After the first quarter, Coastal Carolina was held to 15 points across the next 25-minute stretch.
“As the game went on, we got it together and I think that’s what’s really important,” N.C. State’s Camille Hobby said.
Hobby, Kayla Jones and Dontavia Waggoner all scored 12 points, Jakia Brown-Turner supplied 11 points and eight assists and Genesis Bryant finished with 10 points.
N.C. State was coming off a victory over No. 1 South Carolina on Thursday night. The Wolfpack built a 51-25 halftime lead despite 2-for-13 shooting on 3-pointers. The second half began with the Wolfpack going on a 24-3 run.
“First quarter it felt like we had a little bit of a hangover from Thursday night,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. “We gave up 21 points in the first quarter. … They were really on pace to put up some big points.”
Moore said he was happy with 28 assists on his team’s 37 baskets.
“That was the best part for me, just the teamwork,” Bryant said.
Aja Blount’s 13 points and Tiarra Davis’ 10 points paced the Chanticleers (1-1), who had a 25-win season a year ago for the best mark in program history. Coastal Carolina shot 23.2 percent from the field.
Coastal Carolina led 14-8 midway through the first quarter. N.C. State starting center Elissa Cunane picked up her second foul shortly after, and she sat out until the beginning of the second half.
The Wolfpack began to take control by scoring the first 12 points of the second quarter for a 31-21 edge. In a stretch starting late in the first quarter, the Chanticleers went almost nine minutes without a field goal, falling into a 43-23 hole.
“The reason I’m grateful for this game is because we had the opportunity to see what it is like on this level,” Coastal Carolina coach Jaida Williams said. “The first quarter, we played with them. … It took a while for us to get our mojo back.”
N.C. State benefited from an array of fastbreak baskets as the Chanticleers couldn’t keep up.
“Our transition defense got exposed,” Williams said. “We’re going to have the ability to see this. We’ll be able to get better and grow from this.”
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers fell to 0-17 all-time against Top 25 opponents. After the first meeting with N.C. State, their record against current Atlantic Coast Conference members dipped to 2-26.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack has had a different player as its leading scorer in each game this season, while three players have provided the top assist total. In addition to six players scoring in double figures for the second home game in a row, two others reached the eight-point mark Sunday.
The Wolfpack played without starting guard Kai Crutchfield, who has had foot issues since the South Carolina game and hadn’t practiced for a couple of days.
The good news on N.C. State’s injury front is that forward Jada Boyd, who averaged 14 points and six rebounds for the first two games, could be back by the end of December after arthroscopic knee surgery. She has missed the past two games.
Moore’s 40th wedding anniversary comes Monday, and he said he planned to mark that occasion Sunday night.
“My wife thinks I’m taking her to the Angus Barn (a well-known Raleigh-area restaurant) tonight to celebrate our 40th anniversary,” Moore said. “But don’t tell her that we’re really celebrating Jada Boyd being OK.”
Despite the lapses on offense, Williams said the Chanticleers posting 46 points was significant. That meant Coastal Carolina scored the same number of points that South Carolina managed against the Wolfpack. Thursday night’s final score was 54-46.
“Our team was just very ecstatic to score 46,” Williams said. “The bad news is we gave up 98 points.”
This was a hometown game for Coastal Carolina guard Olivia Smith, a graduate transfer from North Carolina. She sat out last season after appearing in 52 games across parts of three seasons with the Tar Heels. She was limited to two points (both free throws) in 17 minutes in a starting role in the return to Raleigh.
N.C. State could rise into the top 3 when the new poll comes out Monday, perhaps as high as No. 1 based on going on the road to conquer top-ranked South Carolina.
Coastal Carolina: Home Friday night against UNC Pembroke for the first of three consecutive games against Division II opponents before beginning Sun Belt Conference competition.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack is home Wednesday night against Elon in its final tune-up before Atlantic Coast Conference games.