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NC State Basketball

NC State Women’s Basketball Ranks 15th in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Preseason Top-25

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Yesterday ESPN released their Way-Too-Early College Basketball Women’s Preseason Top-25, and NC State impressively sat at #15.

15. NC State Wolfpack
Previous: 25

The Wolfpack overcame myriad major injuries to have one of the most successful seasons in program history. If health can be restored, NC State should again be in the mix near the top of the ACC. Point guard Kaila Ealey missed all of last season after a knee injury in October 2018. If she can return to form, senior Aislinn Konig can return to playing off the ball, where her 3-point shooting will be more of a threat. Getting guard Grace Hunter, who was the team’s leading scorer before a season-ending knee injury in January, back to 100 percent will give coach Wes Moore a versatile backcourt to put around budding star Elissa Cunane in the middle. The 6-foot-5 sophomore could be one of the best post players in the country. (ESPN)

ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Preseason Top-25

  1. Oregon
  2. Baylor
  3. UCONN
  4. Stanford
  5. Maryland
  6. Oregon State
  7. South Carolina
  8. Arizona
  9. Mississippi State
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Florida State
  12. UCLA
  13. Kentucky
  14. Texas
  15. NC State
  16. Minnesota
  17. Arizona State
  18. DePaul
  19. Arkansas
  20. Notre Dame
  21. Indiana
  22. Miami
  23. Michigan
  24. Rice
  25. Michigan State

NC State Basketball

#13 NC State Upsets #9 Maryland 66-59 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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The 13th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team (9-0) upset #9 Maryland (7-2) 66-59 tonight in Reynolds Coliseum in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The victory snapped a 7-game losing streak against Top-10 opponents.

Junior Guard Kai Crutchfield’s three with 2:47 left in the game was a dagger, as were the other 4 she hit, going 5 for 8 from beyond the arch, scoring a game-high 19 points. The 5 treys were a new career high.

Sophomore Center sensation Elissa Cunane notched her 3rd straight double-double (5th of the year), with 16 points (7-9) and 15 rebounds.

Junior Kayla Jones also had a double-double, with 11 points and new career high 14 rebounds.

It’s a phenomenal feat that the Wolfpack were able to knock off a team like the Terrapins considering the fact they turned the ball over a whopping 28 times. Despite creating 12 less turnovers, NC State only scored 4 less points off of turnovers. The countering agent to NC State’s turnover woes was their 51-27 advantage on the glass, scoring 16 second chance points, compared to Maryland’s 5.

NC State took the lead with 8:47 left in the 3rd Quarter, and never looked back, leading for 48% of the contest. They will host Elon on Sunday at Noon.

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NC State Basketball

Hellems’ Career-Night Carries NC State to a Convincing Defensive Victory Over Wisconsin

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Sophomore Jericole Hellems was the offensive spark that NC State needed last night to beat Wisconsin 69-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Two games in a row Hellems has set new career highs. After scoring 17 against Memphis, he led all players in scoring last night with 23 points, sinking 8 of 13 from the floor, and an impressive 4 of 6 from beyond the arch.

In the 1st half, the score changed 12 times, but after Senior Wolfpack Guard Markell Johnson hit a half court shot at the buzzer heading into the half to put NC State up 32-30, they would never lose the lead again.

Wisconsin got a taste of their own medicine, with the Wolfpack shutting them down defensively all game long. The Badgers shot a meager 37.5% from the field and 21.7% from three.

On the other hand, despite what Wisconsin does on the defensive end, the Wolfpack managed to shoot a decent 48.2% from the field, and 40% from beyond the arch.

Despite coming off of the bench due to missing film session on Tuesday night, Senior Guard C.J. Bryce was a stabilizing factor once again, shredding the mid-range jump shot, scoring 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting.

Johnson was the only other player in double figures, but it was an ugly 12, shooting 5-15.

It was a 40-minute effort by the Wolfpack, which will result in a win on most nights.

NC State will head up to Winston-Salem on Saturday to play Wake Forest in their 2nd ACC game at 2pm.

Photo Credit

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NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Postgame Press Conference After Wisconsin Victory: BULLETED

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Head Coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after the Wolfpack’s 69-54 victory over Wisconsin last night. You can watch it here, or check out the bulleted breakdown below.

  • Did a lot of really good things tonight.
  • Really impressed by our defense.
  • Carried over from the 2nd half in the Memphis game, especially when you look at the last 6 or 7 minutes of the half.
  • When you’re playing against a Wisconsin team that makes it tough for you to score, if you can find a way to score, certainly you can win the game.
    • Talked leading up to this game, to not get discouraged if you’re not scoring the basketball.
  • Proud of Jericole Hellems.
    • He’s been the guy the last 3 games or so who’s played with a lot of energy and done a lot of good things for us, and he’s being rewarded for it.
  • Happy with where we’re at. We’ve got to continue to get better, but I thought we learned from the Memphis loss.

Rebounding from Memphis…

  • We felt like if we had played better in the 1st half against Memphis, we would have put ourselves in a better situation to win the game.
  • I’m always talking about when you lose a game, you’re a little sick. I thought we got well tonight.

Best game of the season…

  • You could say that.
  • Competed for 40 minutes.

Markell’s half court shot at halftime…(humor)

  • I did a great job at halftime.
  • I drew up an unbelievable play for Markell Johnson to hit that 3 to go into halftime. I thought that was the best one that I drew up probably in a few years.
  • He did a tremendous job making that shot.

Finishing…

  • Our key was to play smart.
  • Haven’t finished a couple games.
  • 2 losses, don’t think we played down the stretch.
  • So that may be me, making sure I’ve got the right people in at the end of the game.
  • Played with the lead.
  • Taught that this is a long season.
    • You’re going to have highs and lows.
    • You’re going to have some games where you’re up 10 to 15 and you’re going to have some games that are going to wear you down.
  • Take good shots.
  • Run your offense and rely on your defense.

Jericole Hellems…

  • He plays with passion and energy.
  • In college basketball, there are always 1 or 2 guys on the team that might not be as skilled as the other guys on the team, but he just plays hard.
  • He bought in on the defensive end and he’s making shots.
  • I actually wanted him to take a few more shots.
    • He passed up on a couple of threes he could have taken.
  • He works on his game.

Crowd…

  • Very happy with our crowd.
    • I was concerned coming in with a 9:15 p.m. tip.
  • Students were tremendous.
  • When this place is rocking and we have a lot of people in here, it is a tough place to play.
  • As we get better, I want to eventually get to the point where we sell out no matter who we play or what time we play.
  • I am proud and happy that everyone turned out tonight for us.

C.J. Bryce not starting…

  • He missed film last night.
    • His reasoning for missing film was very valid, but it doesn’t matter to me because he missed film.
  • We have standards with what we want to do, so we gave someone else the opportunity.
  • That being said, I thought he was mature about it and handled it well.
  • I wanted to see if he would pout about it, but I don’t think he did, and he bounced back and made some big plays for us.

Quality Win…

  • I hope it goes a long way.
  • I hope Wisconsin gets everything together and wins the Big Ten.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 69 Wisconsin 54: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State handled business last night in Raleigh, defeating Wisconsin 69-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game are below.

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