No. 4 NC State’s Women’s Basketball Team Rises from 14-Point Down to Beat No. 3 Louisville 68-59

In a game that seemed nearly over for NC State’s women’s basketball team, the No. 4 Wolfpack came in with a fourth-quarter for the ages Thursday and a 68-59 win over No. 3 Louisville, which could have ramifications for the seeding of NCAA titles. tournaments.

The Wolfpack trailed 14 in the final period after trailing throughout the game, scoring almost as many points in the last 10 minutes (31) as in the first 30 (37). With the win, NC State took the lead in the ACC standings race at 8-0, while Louisville is 5-1.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Wolfpack’s comeback was the fourth-largest deficit in the fourth quarter of this season in women’s basketball. Teams trailing by at least 14 points going into the final period were 3-1,278 going into Thursday night’s action.

And Louisville was 83-1 for the past five seasons when it held a double-digit lead at halftime. The only loss in that period before Thursday was in last season’s NCAA Elite Eight game against Stanford, which left Louisville 38-26 at halftime but won 78-63 en route to the national championship.

Louisville, 15-2 overall, has one of the highest-rated defenses in Division I and it confused the Wolfpack for much of the game. NC State, 17-2, scored just six points in a particularly frustrating second quarter. But the Wolfpack didn’t give up hope and in the fourth quarter it finally turned around in a big way.

“We started hitting shots, we started making some stops, got a few turnovers from the press that I thought drew the public in,” NC State coach Wes Moore said of the fans at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina. . “It’s a great, great win for our program. I just have so much respect for Louisville. They came in with that 1-3-1 zone and we struggled with that.”

Guard Diamond Johnson led the Wolfpack with 16 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Wolfpack made five of their six three-pointers in the final period. Center Elissa Cunane had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

“We’ve never lost confidence,” Johnson said. “We never stopped shooting.”

NC State and Louisville no longer meet in the regular season. But they were able to take it in the ACC tournament just like last year, when the Wolfpack won the conference championship match 58-56.

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