In its final home game of the season, the No. 2 NC State women’s basketball team will host the Pittsburgh Panthers Thursday, Feb. 25, in Reynolds Coliseum.
The Wolfpack (15-2, 10-2 ACC) is currently riding a three-game win streak with its most recent win, avenging its earlier loss to UNC this past Sunday in the annual Play4Kay game. One key to the Pack’s recent success is the play of sophomore wing Jakia Brown-Turner, who earned ACC Player of the Week after averaging 23 points and 5.5 rebounds in wins over Wake Forest and UNC.
The Panthers (5-11, 3-10 ACC) come into the game next-to-last in the ACC standings among teams still playing. They have lost seven of their last eight games, the most recent of which was a 59-48 loss to Notre Dame.
The best player for the Panthers is guard Jayla Everett, who averages 14.9 points per game and is one of the best shooters in the ACC, having made the third-most 3-pointers in the league this season. Another player to watch out for is guard Dayshanette Harris, who averages double figures in scoring with 12.4 points per game and is third in the ACC in assists per game. Everett and Harris make up a talented backcourt for the Panthers.
One of the few bright spots for the Panthers as a team this season has been rebounding. Pitt is fourth in the ACC during conference play in total rebounds per game and first in offensive rebounds per game. The battle of the boards should be an interesting part of the game to watch as NC State is first in the league in defensive rebounds per game and second in total rebounds per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers are third in the ACC in blocked shots per game, which is due in large part to center Rita Igbokwe, who is fifth in the conference individually in blocked shots per game. The Panthers also manage the fifth-most steals per game in the ACC. On offense, the Panthers averaged over 80 points per game in their three wins over ACC opponents.
While those are numbers for the Panthers to be proud of, they also give up the second-most points per game in the league and are last in the league among teams still playing in offensive field goal percentage.
When the two teams met last season, NC State beat Pitt by 44 points, which was the Pack’s largest margin of victory over an ACC opponent last year. The Pack has won the last five meetings between the two teams and has only lost to the Panthers once since they joined the ACC. NC State’s last four wins over Pitt have been by double digits.
Due to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament being held entirely in the state of Texas this year, NC State will not host any tournament games, so this will be the Pack’s last home game of the season. NC State has not lost a game at home this season and will be looking to finish the season with a perfect home record Thursday.
The game will begin at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on RSN. Follow @TechSports on Twitter for updates.