Size vs. speed on display as No. 5 NC State women host UNC

NC State

North Carolina State’s Raina Perez (2) controls the ball against Georgia during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN0 – Reynolds Coliseum will be the focus of women’s college basketball Thursday evening as No. 5 NC State (12-2, 3-0) plays host to No. 19 UNC (13-0, 3-0) in front of a sellout crowd.

The Wolfpack enters with the experience. North Carolina has a freshman and sophomore rich roster, but N.C. State has a notable size advantage over the Tar Heels.

“It’s a game that’s easier played with size,” UNC Head Coach Courtney Banghart said. “You go right down their roster, they’ve got size. They’re physical. We gotta play together because they have great physicality.”

On the flip side, the Tar Heels enter with a speed advantage. N.C. State head coach Wes Moore said a year ago that UNC’s transition offense was what burned the Pack in its loss at Chapel Hill. Their agility was a challenge then, and even more so now for an N.C. State team that hasn’t played a game in a week.

“We haven’t been playing defense really to the level we’d like to be,” Moore said. “I hadn’t seen that enough in the last few games, so we’re going to have to try to get that back and we’re going to have to play really well to be successful.”

UNC has not suffered a loss yet this year. The Tar Heels also have not played a ranked opponent making Thursday’s rivalry matchup a measuring stick game of sorts for the Tar Heels.

“They’re two really good college basketball teams,” Banghart said. “They’re well-coached but more importantly just really good players that have committed to the connected whole, so you’ve got two good basketball teams on display on Thursday night.”

Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will air on the ACC Network.

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