Wolfpack women keep rolling, making Terps latest victim

CorrespondentJanuary 30, 2014 

— There’s not much doubt now.

N.C. State women’s basketball is back.

Myisha Goodwin-Coleman finished with 16 points, all in the second half, to lead three players in double figures as the No. 18 Wolfpack upset No. 8 Maryland 72-63 on Thursday night at Reynolds Coliseum.

The win, in the Terps’ final visit to Raleigh as members of the ACC, improved the Wolfpack to 19-3, 6-2 and moved it into a tie for third place in the conference.

Maryland (16-4, 4-3), which is moving to the Big Ten next season and had to endure an “ACC! ACC!” chant with 18.3 seconds left, lost its third straight.

Markeisha Gatling added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wolfpack and Len’Nique Brown scored 12. Kody Burke had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with seven points.

“These kids just keep amazing me,” first-year Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. “We fell down by 10 (in the first half) and hung our heads a little bit, getting beat in transition. But they hung in and the crowd got behind them and got things going.

“Several people contributed. But I’ll get them back to earth. After our next film session, they’ll think we lost.”

Maryland got 20 points from Lexie Brown and 18 from Alyssa Thomas, a 6-foot-2 All-American who had to deal with the pesky 5-5 Brown in a diamond-and-one defense for most of the second half.

The Wolfpack’s last previous win in the series had been a 73-45 romp on Jan. 7, 2010 in Raleigh. Maryland had won three straight in the series since.

“State just did a tremendous job in the second half with their adjustments and their physicality,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “They made the plays when they needed to make the plays and did a tremendous job.”

N.C. State’s last win over a Top 10 team had been a 75-73 win over No. 5 Duke on March 2, 2012 in the ACC tournament quarterfinal in Greensboro. The last home-court win over a Top 10 team was a 72-65 win over No. 2 North Carolina on Feb. 16, 2007.

N.C. State shot 44.8 percent to Maryland’s 44.4, won the rebound battle 37-34 and committed 14 turnovers to the Terps’ 17.

The Wolfpack committed just nine fouls to Maryland’s 21.

“Coach just told us to keep our heads up when we were having trouble in the first half,” Gatling said. “This is a big win for us. It feels good.”

Maryland led 38-33 at halftime behind 16 points from Lexie Brown and 12 from Thomas. Len’Nique Brown had 10 at the break for the Wolfpack.

The Terps shot 53.3 percent over the first half to N.C. State’s 51.6 and were leading the rebound battle 17-13, but had committed nine turnovers to the Wolfpack’s seven.

N.C. State scored the first six points, ending on Brown’s jumper at 18:12. But the Terps came back with a 16-2 run, the last 10 points of it all coming from Thomas.

“I did a good job face-guarding her,” Len’Nique Brown said of Thomas. “I knew Keisha had my back. We had worked on that for about 10 minutes in practice. We had pressure on the ball outside and that made a big difference. We have heart. We’re relentless.”

Maryland led by as many as 10 in the half. The Terps were up 27-18 before State went on an 11-0 run, with all the points coming from guards Brown, Krystal Barrett and Miah Spencer.

The Wolfpack took the lead with a 13-0 run while holding the Terps scoreless for 7:40, taking a 57-53 advantage on a pair of Goodwin-Coleman free throws with 4:53 to go. Maryland tied the score at 57-57 but Goodwin-Coleman’s 3-pointer with 3:51 left put State ahead to stay.

N.C. State’s next game is at home on Feb. 6 against Wake Forest. Maryland visits Syracuse on Sunday at noon.

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