College women’s basketball: NC State, North Carolina pick up victories

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 11, 2022

By Ken Powtak

Associated Press

BOSTON — Diamond Johnson scored six of her 22 points in overtime to help No. 5 North Carolina State escape with an 85-78 victory over Boston College on Thursday.

Kayla Jones added 17 points and 11 rebounds for N.C. State (22-3, 13-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Raina Perez had 13 points, and Kai Crutchfield and Elissa Cunane each finished with 12.

Cameron Swartz paced the Eagles (15-9, 6-7) with 24 points, 18 of those coming in the opening half. Taylor Soule added 16 with 10 rebounds.

Johnson’s short jumper gave N.C State a 76-74 edge with 2:09 left in overtime. BC turned the ball over, and Crutchfield had a conventional 3-point play with 1:23 left.

Trailing by one in regulation, Perez’s short jumper gave the Wolfpack the lead with 58 seconds to go. After the Eagles missed twice on the other end, Perez caught an inbounds pass and made a layup, pushing the Wolfpack ahead 69-66 with 22 seconds left.

But Swartz made a layup with 13.1 seconds left and, after Cunane hit just 1 of 2 free throws, Ally VanTimmeren had a layup with 1.2 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.

In the first half, the Wolfpack trailed by 14 points but responded by getting the ball inside often and scored 14 of the final 17 points to close their deficit to 35-32 at halftime.

Boston College hasn’t beaten a Top 5 team in the regular season topping then-No. 2 Connecticut on Jan. 23, 1999.

As part of an annual tradition, both teams wore pink to honor former N.C. State coach Kay Yow, who passed away from cancer in 2009.

Next up for N.C. State is Duke on Sunday afternoon in Durham.

No. 23 UNC 64, Pitt 54

CHAPEL HILL  — Deja Kelly scored 17 points, Alyssa Ustby had 10 points and 12 rebounds and No. 23 North Carolina beat Pittsburgh.

North Carolina led by 22 points before Pitt battled back by closing the third quarter on a 5-0 run and scoring the opening 10 points of the fourth to get within 51-44. But the Tar Heels had an answer after each Pitt make the rest of the way.

Eva Hodgson added 14 points, with 3-for-3 shooting from distance, for North Carolina (19-4, 9-4 ACC). Jayla Everett made 4 of 5 3-pointers and scored 18 points for Pittsburgh (11-12, 2-10).

NC State among top teams for NCAA reveal

Louisville joined South Carolina, Stanford and North Carolina State as top seeds if the women’s NCAA Tournament began now. The NCAA selection committee did its second reveal of the teams in line for the top 16 seeds before Thursday night’s games.

Tennessee was a top-seed in the first reveal on Jan. 22, but the Lady Vols dropped three of four games to fall to No. 3.

The top 16 seeds again will host the first- and second-round games, a year after the entire tournament was played in San Antonio because of COVID-19 concerns.

Bridgeport, Greensboro, Spokane and Wichita will host the regionals and Minneapolis has the Final Four on April 1 and 3.

The No. 1-ranked Gamecocks were still projected to be the top seed in the Greensboro region. N.C. State would be the top team in the Bridgeport Region and would have Michigan, UConn and Texas with them.