Greensboro, NC – With Elissa Cunane picking up where she left off 12 months ago, NC State took step one toward what it hopes will be a successful defense of its ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament title.
Returning “home” to Greensboro Coliseum for Friday night’s quarterfinal game versus seventh-seeded Virginia Tech, Cunane delivered a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the second-seeded Wolfpack (18-2) to a 68-55 win.
Cunane, who hails from nearby Summerfield, North Carolina, connected on 10-of-15 shots from the floor and 7-of-8 from the foul line. She scored 18 points in the second half as the Wolfpack avenged an overtime loss to the Hokies during the regular season and advanced to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. semifinal game versus third-seeded Georgia Tech or No. 11 Clemson.
Jada Boyd added 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for NC State, including eight points in the second quarter as the Wolfpack broke open a tie game to build a 33-23 halftime lead.
NC State kept Virginia Tech at arm’s length throughout the second half, never allowing the Hokies to pull closer than four points. Point guard Raina Perez handed out a game-high six assists and connected on a key 3-pointer as the Wolfpack pulled away in the final eight minutes.
Sophomore center Elizabeth Kitley – another Summerfield native – led Virginia Tech (14-9) with 20 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Georgia Amoore added 12 points, but the Hokies shot 35.1 percent from the floor and struggled to score against the Wolfpack after posting 87 and 83 points in the teams’ two regular-season meetings.
- NC State improved to 25-15 in ACC Tournament quarterfinal games, while Virginia Tech slipped to 0-6 in the quarterfinal round of competition.
- Cunane has scored in double figures in all but one of the Wolfpack’s games this season and in 67 of 84 career games.
- NC State won 84-75 versus Georgia Tech in the regular-season meeting between the teams in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve and defeated Clemson 86-65 at home on Feb. 11.