For the second time in a row, N.C. State and Charlotte had a hard-fought contest.
But in the fourth quarter, the Wolfpack’s Miah Spencer took over the game.
The junior guard scored 11 of her 13 points in the final period, adding seven points and seven rebounds as the Wolfpack held on for a 72-65 women’s basketball victory on Sunday at Broughton High’s historic Holliday Gym.
State (7-2) had beaten the 49ers 70-63 last year in Charlotte.
“Give a lot of credit to Charlotte,” State coach Wes Moore said. “They’re tough to match up with. We had a hard time guarding them and we had to go zone some. We tried to guard (Ciara) Gregory at the 3-point line and I guess we did a good job because she only hit six.
“I’m proud of the way our kids responded. It was kind of DD Rogers’ coming-out party. Dominique (Wilson) stepped up for us in a lot of ways, and then Miah – fighting the torn ligament on her (left) thumb and still playing through it – did a great job for us as well.”
Dominique Wilson led the Wolfpack with 21 points, while freshman Rogers chipped in 11 with nine rebounds in her first double-figure outing.
“I’m getting adjusted to college basketball,” Rogers said. “It’s a different tempo from high school and I’m working on it. “
Gregory led Charlotte (5-3) with 21 points, followed by Alexis Alexander with 17 and Lefty Webster 14 points with five blocks.
State shot just 37.9 percent to the 49ers’ 46.4, but won the rebound battle 48-26 including 27 offensive caroms.
“I think we played really well,” Charlotte coach Cara Consuega said. “We challenged our team coming into this game to pick up our defensive pressure. I thought our zone and man kept them off balance in the first half, but we couldn’t finish the job. They did a great job on the boards and we couldn’t match them.”
State led 32-29 at halftime behind nine points from Wilson and eight from Rogers. Gregory had nine and Alexander eight for Charlotte.
State scored the first four points on buckets by Jennifer Mathurin and Wilson and led 17-11 after the first period.
There were eight lead changes and just one tie, broken when Ashley Williams canned a 3-pointer to give State the lead for good at 45-42 with 3:00 left in the third period.
Sophomore forward Chelsea Nelson made her first career start for the Wolfpack, finishing with six points and eight rebounds.
“I think the big keys for us were rebounding and boxing out,” Nelson said. “They kind of remind me of Miami. They’re tough to box out.”
Charlotte guard Grace Hunter, a freshman out of Athens Drive High, had four points, a rebound, an assist and a block in 23 minutes.
State leads the series 7-0. ... The Wolfpack’s next game is at home against Elon on Dec. 13. ... Charlotte returns home to play the College of Charleston on Tuesday night.