In its first road test of the season, the No. 14 NC State women’s basketball team took care of business Sunday, defeating the St. Mary’s Gaels 87-70. The Wolfpack is now 5-0 on the season, making this the seventh straight season it has started 5-0.
After rolling through its first four games, the Pack had its toughest challenge of the season so far against the Gaels, who entered the game 2-2. Freshman wing Jakia Brown-Turner stepped up big, leading the team with 16 points and shooting 6 for 10 from the field, including 3 for 4 from beyond the arc.
It was an overall well-balanced performance from the Pack, as four of its five starters scored in double figures, and one player, junior forward Kayla Jones, had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Jada Boyd and redshirt senior guard Grace Hunter also came off the bench to score 13 points apiece.
In the first quarter, the Pack went on an 11-0 run and led 24-17 at the end of the quarter. It extended that lead to 41-32 at halftime. Then, in the third quarter, the team went on a 15-3 run to extend its lead to 63-45. The lead was as big as 25 at one point in the game.
Back in the lineup was graduate guard Kaila Ealy, a Raleigh native who played in her first game since the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. She suffered a knee injury in October 2018 and did not play a single game last year. Today, she scored two points off two free throws and added one rebound, two assists and two steals.
The Pack was efficient both offensively and defensively, shooting 54.8% from the field and holding St. Mary’s to just 37.5%. It also dominated the glass, winning the rebound battle 43-23.
Next, the Wolfpack will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to participate in the Hawaii Tournament. Its first game in the Aloha State will be against Texas on Friday, Nov. 29, followed by games against the University of Hawaii and North Texas on Saturday and Sunday.