N.C. State’s conference season may have gotten off to a rough start, but the Wolfpack had no trouble getting back on track on Sunday.
Miah Spencer led the way with 17 points, leading N.C. State to a 64-47 romp over Wake Forest in ACC women’s basketball action at Broughton High’s Holliday Gym.
The win improved the Wolfpack to 10-5, 1-1 in conference play, while the Deacons fell to 9-5 in losing their conference opener. N.C. State has won the last six meetings in the series.
Dominique Wilson added 11 points and six rebounds for the Wolfpack, which was coming off the wrong end of a 73-44 blowout at Miami on Wednesday night.
“Obviously we played great in the first half, and we played really well for about 30 minutes or so,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. “We did a lot of good things and took care of the ball a little better than we have been. Their zone gave us some trouble, but our kids did a good job defensively. We held them to five points in the second period. We needed a win, and we needed to protect our home court.”
Ariel Stephenson came off the bench to score 14 for Wake Forest, followed by Amber Campbell with 13 points and Ataijah Taylor with 10.
The Wolfpack shot 37.3 percent from the floor to the visitors’ 37 and committed just 14 turnovers to the Deacons’ 25. Led by seven from Milan Quinn, the Deacons won the rebound battle 37-34.
“State really got into attack mindset late in the first half and then we got in foul trouble,” Wake coach Jen Hoover said. “We talked a lot about their straight-line drives, and we weren’t able to stop a lot of them. We’ve got to keep fighting, and we’ve got to be able to score inside.”
N.C. State led 36-17 at halftime behind 13 points from Spencer. The Wolfpack shot 52 percent in the first half to Wake’s 26.1 percent, and committed just seven turnovers to the Deacons’ 13. Wake Forest was winning the rebound battle 17-15 at the break.
The Wolfpack was up 19-12 after the first period behind eight points from Spencer. Wake Forest led 10-7 after a Stephenson 3-pointer with 3:33 left in the quarter, but didn’t score again until Taylor hit two free throws to cut it to 24-14 with 8:08 left in the half.
“I know the young players look up to me and I’m a leader on the team, so it’s good for everybody when I get off to a good start,” Spencer said. “We had some good practices the last couple of days, and some of us came over two hours early to get some shots up. We’ve been stressing taking better care of the ball and playing better defense. We weren’t good on defense at Miami.”
State’s largest lead was 25, at 56-31 on a Spencer layup with 7:23 to play. The Deacons were never closer than 12 points back over the final 25 minutes.
“Coach Moore has talked about protecting our house, and that’s something we did well today,” said Wolfpack freshman D.D. Rogers, who finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. “We just had to not live in our past about the Miami game and get a win today.”
Notes: Attendance was announced at 2,065. … The rematch is on Feb. 7 in Winston-Salem. The Wolfpack leads the all-time series 63-13. … Wake Forest is at Duke on Thursday at 7 p.m. … The Wolfpack hosts Georgia Tech here on Thursday at 7:30.