RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina State closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run, then ended the second on a 13-0 surge on its way to a 63-51 win over the University of Maine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Wolfpack gave its fans at Reynolds Coliseum plenty to chat about during halftime. Kai Crutchfield nailed a 3-pointer through a foul, finished the 4-point play, then hit another trey at the buzzer to help N.C. State to a 39-22 lead at halftime.
Defensively, the Wolfpack held Bianca Millan and Tanesha Sutton – UMaine’s leading scorers – to just seven points on 3-of-23 shooting. However, Parise Rossignol and Dor Saar helped supply the Black Bears’ offense as they combined for nine of UMaine’s 11 made 3s.
“We hadn’t played in two weeks. Exactly two weeks. At times, offensively, that showed,” said Wolfpack head coach Wes Moore. “I thought we made a nice run in the second quarter. Then, the second half, for whatever reason, we got a lot of stagnant out there. Give Maine a lot of credit. They can shoot the basketball.”
N.C. State, which won the Dec. 15, 2018 regular-season meeting between the two by almost 40 points, again thrived on its size advantage. Freshman center Elissa Cunane, standing 6-foot-5, dominated the post. She finished with 16 points and nine rebounds as the Wolfpack outscored UMaine 32-6 in the paint.
N.C. State moves on to play Kentucky on Monday in the second round.