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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The NC State women's basketball team (18-14) pulled off a tremendous 69-65 comeback win at East Carolina on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the 2015 WNIT, advancing to the tournament's round of 16.
The Pack trailed 58-50 with 6:35 to play and ended the game on a 19-7 run down the stretch to earn the victory. State took great advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line in the second half, hitting 17 of 19 (.895) attempts.
Miah Spencer scored a game and career-high 26 points on 9-16 shooting (5-7 from distance). She was joined in double figures by Dominique Wilson (11 points) and Jennifer Mathurin (10 points, career-high 14 rebounds).
ECU (22-11) was paced offensively by Jada Payne's 19 points. Jasmine Phillips chipped in 14; Shae Nelson scored 11, and I'Tiana Taylor scored nine while grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Wolfpack was without multiple players due to injury and an NCAA ruling on freshman Bosnian center Sara Boric, circumstances which have had the cumulative effect of seeing five student-athletes on the team miss a combined 75 games throughout the season.
Throughout a hotly-contested first half which featured five ties, three lead changes, and 23 fouls, the host Pirates held a 35-27 advantage as the teams made their way to their locker rooms. NC State shot 11-28 (.393) from the field and 2-7 (.286) from distance while the Pirates operated at a clip of 12-31 (.387) and 6-12 (.500) from long range.
Though she struggled from the field, shooting 2-9, sophomore forward Mathurin played a very intelligent first half during which she was the recipient of three offensive fouls (charging) by the Pirates. She would end the game taking six charges. The Pack did force ECU into 11 turnovers in the first half, miscues from which State was able to score nine points.
The Pack opened the second half on a 5-0 run thanks to made baskets by Spencer and Carlee Schuhmacher. This forced ECU's hand early, leading to a called timeout just 2:01 into the period.
State would later tie the game at 40 when Spencer hit a three-pointer 4:06 into the period. ECU answered back, reclaiming the lead and extending it to as many as eight points on four occasions.
State's 19-7 run began when Dominique Wilson hit two free throws with 6:21 to play to pull the Pack within six (58-52). This started a stretch during which State went 11-12 from the line the rest of the way. NC State's winning basket came when Spencer found freshman Chelsea Nelson open in the lane with 12 seconds remaining. Nelson scored through pressure and State's defense stepped up on the next play, as Brown-Hoskin and Mathurin combined to tip an ECU pass away and claim possession. Mathurin would then sink the final two FTs to make it 69-65.
NC State will play in the third round of the WNIT at Temple on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m.
OXFORD, Miss. - The Georgia Tech women's basketball team's season came to an end as the Yellow Jackets (19-15) fell at Ole Miss (19-13), 63-48, in the second round of the WNIT at Tad Smith Coliseum.
"It's a disappointing loss," head coach MaChelle Joseph said. "When Kaela Davis got in foul trouble, it hurt us because we are short on numbers as it is. Our depth really hurt us today. There is no doubt about that."
Two Yellow Jackets scored in double figures, with junior Aaliyah Whiteside leading the team in points with 16, assists with five and steals with two. Whiteside also grabbed eight rebounds. Junior Roddreka Rogers recorded her team-best 12th double-double of the season scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Turnovers and foul trouble plagued the Yellow Jackets in the season-ending loss. Tech committed 23 turnovers which the Rebels turned into 30 points. Georgia Tech's leading scorer sophomore Kaela Davis was in foul trouble early and fouled out with 7:49 left in the game. Davis finished the game with seven points and two rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets are now 6-4 in the WNIT and Joseph is 6-8 in post season play. This was the first appearance in the WNIT for the Jackets under Joseph.
The two teams who met for the first time in program history stayed close for most of the game until halfway through the second half when the Rebels put together a 10-2 run to go ahead, 53-43. The Jackets wouldn't come closer than eight points to Ole Miss' lead for the remainder of the game.
The Yellow Jackets were held without a field goal for the first 5:15 of the game as the Rebels took a 7-3 lead, but a layup from Rogers broke the field goal drought and ignited an 8-0 run that gave Tech a 9-7 advantage. The Yellow Jackets' first five points of the game came from made free throws.
The Jackets forgot about their field goal drought from the beginning of the game and went 5-for-5 from the floor between 11:36 and 7:53 to take a 20-15 lead on the scoreboard.
The Rebels went ahead for the first time since 13:40 in the first half after utilizing a 6-0 run, 23-22, with 4:07 left to go until the break.
The lead returned in Georgia Tech's favor, 24-23, after a jumper from Davis with 3:09 left but a made free throw from Tia Flaeru would knot the score, 24-24. Both teams did not make a field goal in the final three minutes of the half, and the score stayed tied at 24-24 at the half.
In the opening eight minutes of the second half, the lead bounced back and forth and stayed close until the Rebels were the first team to go ahead by more than a three points in the second frame at 43-37.
The Rebels outscored the Jackets 10-2 to take a 10 point lead, 53-43, with 5:43 left in the game. Two made free throw shots from Rogers cut Tech's deficit to 11 points, 59-48, with 2:46 on the clock but the Rebels held Tech scoreless for the remainder for the game while scoring four points to defeat the Jackets, 63-48.