The third-seeded NC State women’s basketball team will take on the sixth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in the second round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament on Monday night in Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack defeated Maine on Saturday by a score of 63-51 to advance to the second round.
The Pack (27-5) had an overall good showing in the first round. Graduate Kiara Leslie, sophomore Kai Crutchfield and freshman Elissa Cunane all finished in double figures. Cunane also led the Pack with nine rebounds as the team collected 38 for the game.
For the Pack, the game plan is to dominate the glass. Up to this point, the team has a plus-8.8 rebounding margin average in 32 games this season.
The Wildcats (25-7) will come into the game looking to push the ball up the court and run. Over their 32 games this year, the team has forced an average of 21.4 turnovers per game. Kentucky has been a consistent tournament team in the past 10 years, boding well for their experience.
Freshman Rhyne Howard has been a force to be reckoned with this season for the Wildcats. Howard was selected as the ESPNW National Freshman of the Year.
Starting and playing in all 32 games this year for the Wildcats, Howard has averaged 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. All of this and more led her to the Freshman of the Year award along with the best rookie season in Kentucky’s history.
Against Princeton on Saturday, Howard played 36 minutes, posting 15 points and five rebounds. At the shooting guard position, she will post the biggest threat to the Pack in Monday’s game.
Win or lose, this will be the Pack’s last game in Reynolds Coliseum this season. NC State holds an impressive 15-2 record at home. The Pack last lost a non-ACC game at home in 2015, starting a streak of 32 games and is looking to up the number to 33 on Monday.
The game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN.