Rogers, No. 10 N.C. State edge No. 15 Miami 70-68
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — DD Rogers put together a special performance on her senior day.
Rogers scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, helping No. 10 North Carolina State top No. 15 Miami 70-68 on Sunday. She had scored in double figures just four times this season.
“They were playing off me quite a bit,” Rogers said, “so the shots that I could knock down, I knocked down. And then when I could attack them off the dribble, I attacked and scored.”
In the regular-season finale for each team, the Wolfpack also got 12 points from senior guard Kiara Leslie, including a go-ahead jumper in the second half.
Emese Hof scored 24 points for Miami (24-7, 12-4 Atlantic Coast), and Beatrice Mompremier added 15 points and 17 rebounds. The Hurricanes had won six of seven.
“I told my team to close their eyes and imagine we won this, because we’re not losing any confidence by our performance today,” coach Katie Meier said. “We will not. We will go into the ACC Tournament feeling like we’re one of the hottest teams in the country because we are.”
Leslie’s jumper put N.C. State (25-4, 12-4) ahead to stay at 57-56 with 7:22 left. Rogers then converted a layup and Kayla Jones had a fast-break runout score to increase the lead to five.
With the win, the Wolfpack secured the No. 3 seed for the ACC Tournament. Miami will be the No. 4 seed. Both teams will play in the quarterfinals on Friday.
N.C. State trailed by 10 after Hof opened the second half with a successful runner. But the Wolfpack used a 3-pointer by Kai Crutchfield and a three-point play by Elissa Cunane to spark a 10-0 run that tied it at 40.
After a timeout, Mompremier converted a three-point play and Hof made a 13-foot jumper to restore Miami’s five-point lead, but Rogers responded with two free throws and N.C. State scored eight of the final 10 points of the third quarter.
“We’re always just talking to each other like, ‘Keep our heads up, stay in the game, bring energy and play off the energy the crowd gives us as well,'” Rogers said. “That’s definitely a big part in us coming back, just staying positive and keeping our heads in it.”
N.C. State coach Wes Moore enjoyed Rogers’ big performance in her final regular-season game. She played a reserve role in her first three seasons, and Moore said it would have been easy for Rogers to decide to transfer when she wasn’t getting many minutes early in her career.
“She didn’t do that,” Moore said. “She decided to work … and now she’s started every game this year and is having a great senior season. It’s neat to see somebody get rewarded for having perseverance.”
N.C. State: The win gives the Wolfpack some momentum heading into the postseason. But after losing three starters and one key reserve to season-ending knee injuries, N.C. State is mostly relying on a six-player rotation, which could make it difficult to win the three games in three days necessary to take the ACC Tournament.
Miami: Losing on the road to a top-10 opponent is hardly a disaster for the Hurricanes. They still finished the season with a 6-2 record against Top 25 opponents and appear to be a threat to challenge for the ACC Tournament title and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Miami plays at 11 a.m. Friday in the ACC quarterfinals in Greensboro, North Carolina.
N.C. State plays at 8 p.m. Friday in the quarters.