Coming off a devastating overtime loss on the road to Boston College Monday night, the NC State women’s basketball team pulled off an incredible second half comeback to beat the Miami Hurricanes, 68-65.
Miami (18-8, 8-5 ACC) showed signs of domination early, as it jumped out to a 19-11 lead with 8:23 remaining in the half. However, NC State (15-11, 6-7 ACC) was able to get back in the game as it went on an 11-4 run to make it a one point game. Despite the promising run, things went downhill for the Pack from there in the first half.
The Hurricanes fired back by going on a 19-2 run over the final 3:33 of the half, making all seven of its field goal attempts during that span, including a buzzer beating three from sophomore guard Adrienne Motley. Motley led Miami with 17 points and four rebounds at the half. The Hurricanes made 9-of-10 field goals in the final six minutes of the half to take a 42-24 lead.
“The first half was flat out embarrassing, I was very disappointed in the way we played,” head coach Wes Moore said. “We can’t afford not to play hard and allow them to take open shots, but we got outhustled and allowed them to do so.”
Junior center Carlee Schuhmacher led NC State with seven points on 3-of-6 from the field. As a team, the Pack shot 10-of-30 from the field in the first half, and was just 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.
Despite the first half beat down, NC State was able to gain some momentum on a 15-6 run to start the second half to cut the deficit from 20 at one point to just nine. Over the next 11:19, the teams proceeded to go back and forth, with the Pack never trailing by less than 8. Then, sophomore guard Miah Spencer made a three with 4:02 remaining that completely changed the dynamics of the game.
Redshirt sophomore guard Dominique Wilson then forced a turnover on the next inbound attempt and found Spencer open in the paint for a layup to cut the deficit to 63-58. NC State was able to hold Miami to a mere two free throws, as Spencer and Wilson each made jumpers to make it a 65-62 game with 2:21 remaining.
The Hurricanes did their best to run down the clock, but they simply couldn’t get the shots to fall down the stretch. With 56 seconds remaining, sophomore forward Mathurin hit a huge three to tie the game.
One possession later, with time winding down, redshirt senior guard Len’Nique Brown-Hoskin hit one of the biggest shots of her career on a three pointer with 2.6 seconds left to ultimately win the game for NC State.
“We changed up the inbound defense to force turnovers, and it worked out pretty well for us,” Moore said. “We got big shots from Jen and Len’Nique that ultimately won it for us.”
After shooting 8-of-15 from beyond the arc in the first half, Miami shot a meager 1-of-9 from distance in the second half. While the Hurricanes ended the first half on a 19-2 run, the Pack outscored them 44-23 in the second half. Additionally, NC State ended the game on a 15-2 run and held Miami to zero field goals during that span.
After combining for just eight points in the first half, Brown-Hoskin ended the game with 19 points and Spencer led the team with 20. Brown-Hoskin added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Wilson only scored eight points on 3-of-16 from the field, but she came up big in other areas with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“We’re young, but we fight hard, and today we got it right,” Brown-Hoskin said. “It’s such a relief to be able to finish a game after losing out on so many other opportunities earlier in the season. It gives us a sense of hope going into postseason play.”
NC State will play No. 10 Duke in the Hoops for Hope game in Reynolds Coliseum on Sunday at noon.