No.3 Louisville holds off Wolfpack 55-47. (Dec 31, 2017)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The margin of victory is shrinking, but the number of wins keeps growing for Louisville.
Myisha Hines-Allen had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 3 Louisville beat North Carolina State 55-47 on Sunday.
Asia Durr also scored 17 points for the Cardinals (16-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who set a program record for most consecutive wins to start a season. With its 16th consecutive victory, Louisville tied the 2013-14 team for the longest winning streak in program history.
''I've really been proud of our kids, the fight that they've shown,'' Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. ''Now we've got to continue to grow.''
Louisville began the game on a 26-1 run as N.C. State missed its first 24 shots from the field. The Cardinals led 41-18 midway through the third quarter and held on after their lead was trimmed to 47-43 late in the fourth.
Louisville shot 39 percent, grinding out another victory three days after outlasting Georgia Tech 74-71. Before that game, the Cardinals had won their previous six contests by an average margin of 31 points.
Kiara Leslie scored 18 points to lead N.C. State (12-3, 1-1). Kaila Ealey added 11 points for the Wolfpack, who trailed 28-12 at halftime.
N.C. State was scoreless from the floor until Armani Hawkins made a 3-pointer with 4:49 remaining in the second quarter.
''We struggled to hit some shots,'' N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. ''Unfortunately, sometimes that can be contagious. A couple of people miss, and everybody starts thinking about it too much.''
Louisville: Picked during the preseason to finish second in the conference, the Cardinals are off to a great start. They have opened ACC play with road wins against two solid teams, putting them in good position for their upcoming homestand.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack won all three of their games against top-10 foes last season, including one at Louisville on Feb. 2, but their comeback came up short in this one. N.C. State's 12 points in the first half were one more than the fewest in program history.
ALMOST A SHUTOUT
N.C. State's lone point in the first quarter came because of a gift by the Cardinals. Ealey missed a pair of free throws with 5:57 left in the quarter, but she got to shoot the second one again because of a lane violation by Louisville. Ealey converted the makeup free throw, leaving the Wolfpack 0 for 15 from the floor and 1 for 4 on free throws for the quarter.
With her team clinging to a 47-43 lead late in the fourth quarter, Hines-Allen delivered the play of the game for Louisville. She blocked a jump shot by Aislinn Konig, secured the rebound and raced to the other end for a layup to give the Cardinals a six-point cushion with 2:29 left. She credited Walz for alerting her to Konig's shot on a previous play.
''When you listen to coach, it all works out,'' Hines-Allen said.
Durr, who scored 38 points in Louisville's previous game, made 5 of 17 shots from the floor. . The previous three meetings between the teams were decided by a total of five points. . The Wolfpack's six-game winning streak ended, and they fell to 8-1 at home this season.
HE SAID IT
''I am concerned because we are slipping in some areas. We've got to value the basketball, and our tempo on offense has to improve. I don't want to have to take a loss before they realize, `Oh, now I see what you're saying.' " - Walz said.
Louisville hosts No. 14 Duke on Thursday night in the first of three consecutive league games at home.
N.C. State hosts Virginia on Thursday night in the second game of a five-game stretch in which it plays four times at home.