NC State remains undefeated with 75-45 win over Davidson
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — After a sluggish start following a nine-day holiday break, No. 9 N.C. State found a spark on defense against Davidson on Sunday to remain undefeated.
Aislinn Konig scored 17 points for the Wolfpack, which held Davidson to 1-for-13 from the field over a nine-minute stretch of the third quarter in a 75-45 win. DD Rogers energized N.C. State (13-0) with a pair of blocked shots in the third quarter, when the Wolfpack turned a 30-27 deficit into a 19-point lead.
A pair of Kiara Leslie 3-pointers 64 seconds apart stretched the Wolfpack’s lead to 51-32 late in the third quarter. Leslie finished with 13 points.
“The first half, it wasn’t a whole lot of fun,” said N.C. State coach Wes Moore. “We talked about all the hustle stats they won. They were hitting enough shots. So again, it was disappointing because I felt like almost every game this year we’ve shown up and been really focused.”
With a 90-80 win at Clemson already to their credit, the Wildcats (6-7) gave N.C. State all it could handle for a half in their second meeting against an ACC foe. Justine Lyon, who entered the game as the 12th-leading scorer in school history, lowered her shoulder and drove for an assortment of layups and 14 of her 16 points in the first half.
Davidson led 30-27 after Sarah Donovan opened the second half with a 3-pointer from the wing, but N.C. State turned up the defense to gain control. The Wolfpack entered the game ranked 16th in the country in field goal percentage defense (.337), and did a better job cutting off the Wildcats when they drove the lane. Davidson shot 28.1 percent for the game.
“They’ve got a lot of length, they’ve got a lot of athleticism,” said Davidson coach Gayle Coats Fulks, “and to make shots over the top of that length and athleticism is tough.”
Davidson: After an outstanding first-half effort against a top-10 foe, the Wildcats will play three of their first five Atlantic 10 conference games at home, where they were 4-1 in nonconference play. With five straight double-figure scoring games and an average of 17.5 points per game during that span, Lyon gives Davidson a hot scorer to rely on in conference play.
“Our best basketball is ahead of us,” Fulks said. “We’re a team that’s still relatively young and inexperienced, and every single game we’re getting more experience.”
N.C. State: The Wolfpack is one win from tying the school record for the most consecutive wins to start a season. The 1999-2000 team won 14 in a row before suffering its first loss. N.C. State’s wins this season have been relatively easy, by margins of at least 11 points in 12 of the 13 games.
“You shouldn’t underestimate us,” Konig said. “I know something that’s said a lot is that people don’t rank us where we believe we should be ranked. And this is us showing how good we are and how good we can be, and taking every day as a huge opportunity to prove that to everybody.
N.C. State, which entered the game ranked in the nation’s top 10 in rebound margin, held a 51-36 advantage on the boards. Grace Hunter led the Wolfpack with 10 rebounds, and three teammates each grabbed at least seven.
Davidson shot just 7-for-30 from the field in the second half…N.C. State has won 27 consecutive nonconference home games and is 39-4 at home since 2016-17…Konig shot 3-for-6 from 3-point range Sunday and has at least one 3-pointer in 46 straight games.
Davidson: Has a week off before a home meeting with George Mason in the opening game of its Atlantic 10 conference schedule Sunday, Jan. 6.
N.C. State: Plays host to Duke in its ACC season opener Thursday.