Boyd has 18 points, NC State beats NC A&T 79-58 :: WRALSportsFan.com


– Jada Boyd scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half to help North Carolina’s first seed to overcome a slow start and advance to a 79-58 victory over 16-seeded NC A&T in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament on Sunday.

NC State (21-2) is making its fourth consecutive tournament appearance and 26th overall, but it won first place for the first time. The Wolfpack will face South Florida, eighth seeded, in the second round.

The Aggies led by as many as six in the second quarter. But NC State used a great run to take a seven-point lead at halftime before Boyd scored the first six points of the second half to make it 50-37 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third.

2021 NCAA Women's Final Four

“We didn’t particularly see ourselves as a No. 1 seed or anything like that in the first half,” NC State coach Wes Moore said. “But hopefully it was just a situation where we had been away for so long … and maybe this will help us get a little rust off and maybe take advantage of it and have some confidence.”

The Wolfpack had pushed the lead to 15 later in the third before concluding the fourth with a 7-2 run, highlighted by Boyd’s 3, to make it 64-44 going into the fourth.

Moore praised Boyd’s performance.

“She does that a lot,” he said. “She’s so athletic and long. We needed to get up. We needed a ray of injury and I thought she really gave us that.”

Chanin Scott’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 17 with about six minutes to go. NC State then scored nine straight points over the next two minutes to extend the lead to 77-51 and Moore cleared his bench shortly after that.

Boyd wasn’t sure if Wolfpack’s early fights were more a product of NC A&T playing well or of their fights.

SEC_Texas_A_M_LSU_Basketball_97588

“A&T came out hitting all their shots, so it could have been a bit of both,” he said. “Two weeks is a long time without playing a game, so it was difficult, but we ended up together.”

Elissa Cunane, NC State’s 6-foot-5 leading scorer, added 12 points despite struggling through nearly constant double-teaming. Cunane was coming off an MVP performance in leading the Wolfpack to a second straight Atlantic Coast Conference title by scoring 70 combined points in three games.

NC A&T (14-3), which won the Middle East Athletic Conference title, was making its fifth trip to the tournament and third in six seasons. The Aggies fell to 0-5 in the tournament and 0-10 against NC State. They were led by Scott, who had 23 points and seven rebounds.

NC A&T coach Tarrell Robinson was asked about the difference in his team in the first and second half.

“His intensity, our lack of concentration,” he said. “What I talked about with our young women in regards to teams like NC State, we haven’t played a team like that this whole year, is they take away the first option. You may have scored with them, but the next possession is not going to be there. “

NC State led by three in the second quarter before the Aggies scored the next nine points to take a 35-29 lead with about five minutes left in the quarter. D’mya Tucker started that run with a triple and added a steal between Scott’s four points.

The Wolfpack got under way after that, finishing the fourth with a 15-2 run to take a 44-37 lead at halftime. Kai Crutchfield tripled, caught a steal and finished with a layup to cap NC State’s score in that stretch. He had 14 points.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Wolfpack outscored the Aggies 40-22 in the paint. … NC State scored 28 points from NC A & T’s 13 turnovers. … NC State’s bank outperformed Aggies’s bank 33-15. … The Wolfpack also held the 13-3 second chance points advantage.

JONES WOUNDED

Senior starter Kayla Jones didn’t play in the second half after injuring her knee in the second quarter. Moore doesn’t think it’s serious, but she’s not sure if it will be available Tuesday.

“She’s going to have an MRI tonight and see what’s going on,” he said. “We don’t think it is an anterior cruciate ligament, but it is very sensitive.”

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