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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wolfpack holds off Eagles on Senior night for third straight victory

Posted by on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State clearly has some late-season momentum in women’s basketball, and to make anything out of it the Wolfpack just has to keep it going.

N.C. State forward Bonae Holston
  • Photo courtesy NCSU athletics
  • N.C. State forward Bonae Holston
Tonight’s Senior Night opponent is Boston College (18-9, 5-7), which seems to be on the bubble for an NCAA Tournament spot.

But if the Wolfpack (12-15, 3-9) doesn’t pull off a mild upset tonight, the only way it’s going to post-season play is to win the ACC Tournament next week in Greensboro.

Amber White and Brittany Strachan, who will get the start tonight, are honored with framed jerseys in the Senior Night ceremony as is Hanna Halteman, who had to sit out her final season after a series of concussions.

BC won the teams’ first meeting of the season 77-67 on Jan. 20 in Chestnut Hill.

This time the Wolfpack gets revenge, taking the taller Eagles down with an 80-69 win.

The Eagles lead for most of the first half, going up by as many as seven at 13-6 on a 3-pointer from Jaclyn Thoman at 12:54.

State took its first lead at 24-22 on a pair of Amber White free throws at 7:54. The Wolfpack led 42-36 following a pair of White free throws with one second left before intermission and never trailed after the break.

Holston had 12 points and White 11 at the break, while Thoman had 11 and Swords 10 for BC.

The Wolfpack stretches the advantage to 15 points twice, the last time at 67-52 following a Holston jumper at 8:23, before the Eagles fight back.

BC goes on a 14-3 run, slicing the advantage to 70-66 on a Thoman layup with 3:37 showing, before the Wolfpack begins to ice it at the free throw line.

State hits seven of eight to make it 77-66 with 1:12 left and put the game away.

Holston leads the Wolfpack with 28 points, followed by White with 17 and freshmen Kody Burke with 11 and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman with 10 and a season-high eight assists.

Carolyn Swords leads BC with 23 points, followed by Thoman with 18 and Stefanie Murphy with 17.

State shoots 50 percent from the floor to the visitors’ 43.3. The taller Eagles win the rebound battle 39-36, but commit 17 turnovers to the Wolfpack’s 13.

They said it …

NCSU coach Kellie Harper: “This was a physical game, it was a little bit exhausting for players and staff alike, but I’m glad that our kids were able to win very differently than Monday night (against UNC). We had a really well-played game on Monday and it was just pretty basketball, and to follow that up with a ‘grind it out’ win speaks very highly of our kids and where they are mentally right now. … I felt like when we played them earlier in the year we did not get the ball inside. I felt like we played a little bit intimidated by their size. It’s a 50-50 thing. Bo has to want the ball and get in good position, and then the guards did a great job screening for her and finding her.”

BC coach Sylvia Crawley: “Tonight the problem was our defense. We had a hard time containing their penetration and in stopping (Holston). She got hot, and once she got hot she was hard to stop. I thought we scored enough points to win the ball game, but we just didn’t get enough stops tonight.”

Holston: “I think I took better shots tonight and they were in rhythm. Last game I might have figured out too late, ‘I can score over them.’ This time it was just, ‘Shoot the ball.’”

White: “It seems like we’re gaining momentum right now, very similar to last year. This team comes to practice every day and works hard in the weight room, and we’re not going to give up no matter what happens or what’s going on around us. We’re going to give it all until we can’t any longer. We have a lot of fight in us.”

What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack needs three more wins in a row to assure a .500 finish, which would likely get a WNIT bid. And that BC is once again clawing for an NCAA spot as March approaches.

Stars of the game

1. Holston.
2. White.
3. Swords.

Play of the game

Holston’s layup with 55 seconds left to make it 79-69.

Series record
NCSU leads 7-6.

Streaks
NCSU: Won 3.
BC: Lost 1.

Up next
Maryland at Boston College, Sunday, 1 p.m.
N.C. State at Wake Forest, Sunday, 2 p.m.

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