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GREENSBORO, N.C. - The 9th-seeded NC State Wolfpack came from behind to knock off the 8th-seeded Florida State Seminoles, 74-71, in the opening round of the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon in the Greensboro Coliseum. NC State overcame a 10-point second-half deficit and held the Seminoles scoreless over the final three and a half minutes to advance to Friday's quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Duke.
"Our team is pretty proud right now. And I'm really proud of them because I thought down the stretch we made big plays on both ends of the court," NC State head coach Kellie Harper said. "I thought we played smart. These kids have worked really hard, and I'm really glad that it paid off with a win. Florida State posed us so many problems with a couple guards that can shoot and obviously their size in the interior was a huge challenge for us. So this was definitely an exciting win over a very powerful opponent."
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Florida State, which held a seven-point advantage at intermission, extended its lead to 47-37 early in the second half. The Wolfpack, however, was undaunted. Junior Marissa Kastanek's jumper keyed a 10-0 NC State run that tied the game and included 3-pointers by Kastanek and sophomore Myisha Goodwin-Coleman.
Florida State answered that challenge with 3-pointers by junior Alexa Deluzio on its next two possessions, and held a six-point lead with 13:27 to play. But NC State did not go away. Kastanek gave the Wolfpack a 58-55 lead, its first since being up 8-6, on a 3-pointer at the 9:13 mark. Neither team led by more than three from that point on. NC State scored the game's final five points to claim the victory.
"I thought in the second half, NC State did a great job of adjusting and defending our inside game," Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. "Lex (Alexa Duluzio) really stepped up for us, scored well from the perimeter, but it just wasn't enough."
Deluzio led all players with 26 points. Senior Cierra Bravard and sophomore Natasha Howard added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Seminoles.
Kastanek led the Wolfpack with 21 points while senior Bonae Holston registered 15 points and 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the year. Goodwin-Coleman, who matched Kastanek with four 3-pointers, added 16 points and seven assists. The Wolfpack's total of 11 treys was one shy of the tournament record.
With the win, NC State improved to 17-14 on the year. The Wolfpack advanced to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals for the third consecutive year and will face Duke (24-4) at 3:00 p.m. Friday. Florida State fell to 14-17.
NOTES FROM NC STATE-FLORIDA STATE