Cunane, No. 10 NC State beat Georgetown 76-65
WASHINGTON (AP) — North Carolina State is off to its best start in decades, and coach Wes Moore is looking for more.
“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Moore said. “Every time we watch film, we still see a whole lot of warts that we need to get removed.”
Kiara Leslie added 18 points as the Wolfpack improved to 10-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
“They started off the game really hot,” Leslie said. “We needed to pick up our offense, and my teammates did a great job getting me open, and I just hit the open shot.”
Leslie went 4 for 5 from 3-point range.
“She does so much,” Moore said. “Most of the time she guards the other team’s best scorer.”
Cunane scored 14 points in the second half, and Leslie had 13 points in two key runs for N.C. State — one late in the first half, and another early in the second.
Georgetown (5-5) was led by Dionna White, who had a season-high 25 points. Dorothy Adomako matched her season high with 18 points. Mikayla Venson added 16.
Rogers helped N.C. State to a 49-28 rebounding advantage. Grace Hunter had 11 boards to go along with 13 points and a career-high eight assists.
Georgetown took a 32-25 lead on a jumper by White with 7:02 left in the second quarter, but N.C. State scored 14 unanswered points — eight by Leslie — and closed the half on a 16-2 run.
Venson and White began the second half with 3-pointers, and the Wolfpack’s lead was just 41-40. N.C. State scored the next 11, with five from Leslie, to move ahead 52-40 with 4:15 to play in the third.
“We just had lapses at critical times, and that kind of got the other team going,” White said.
North Carolina State: For the Wolfpack, ACC play is still a few weeks away. They have three nonconference games before hosting Duke on Jan. 3.
Georgetown: Due to final exams, the Hoyas have just one game before they begin Big East play on Dec. 29 when they host Xavier.
Cunane, a 6-foot-5 freshman, was 9 for 15 from the field and 5 for 6 at the line. She also scored 23 on Nov. 18 against Radford.
“It’s a big jump to go from high school to ACC,” Moore said. “She had foot surgery this summer, and it’s taken her a while to get back into that rhythm.”
Moore wasn’t surprised by his team’s big advantage on the boards.
“I think rebounding’s the most important part of the game,” Moore said. “Even on a bad shooting day, you have a chance to win.”
Georgetown coach James Howard said it was the key to the game.
“They were getting it in position where they could score easy,” Howard said.
HOYAS STEP UP SCHEDULE
Howard has tried to schedule more aggressively. This was the second time Georgetown lost to a top-10 team. On Nov. 24, the Hoyas lost to No. 4 Baylor 67-46.
“In the past … the losses were 30, 40, 50 points,” Howard said. “We haven’t reached that point yet to be a top-10 team. We want to see where we are to give us a gauge of what we need to do.”
North Carolina State: Host Maine on Saturday
Georgetown: After a break for exams, visit Rider on Dec. 21