Wolfpack whips Seminoles

NC State guard Len'Nique Brown (2) fights for possession against Florida State junior guard Yashira Delgado during the NC State women's basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. The Wolfpack defeated the Seminoles 76-69 in Tallahassee, FL.

The N.C. State Women’s basketball team beat Florida State 76-69 on Thursday night. The win avenges the Wolfpack’s 82-74 loss on Jan. 20 in Raleigh to the Seminoles.

Junior forward Kody Burke led the Wolfpack (13-12, 5-8 ACC) by tying her career high of 26 points. Sophomore guard Len’Nique Brown also had a big game for the Wolfpack, pitching in 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. 

The ‘Noles (19-5, 9-4 ACC), who took the court wearing pink uniforms, socks and shoes as part of its annual “Paint it Pink” game, came into the contest fresh off a big win against in-state rival Miami on Sunday. The Wolfpack also came into the game with momentum after winning four of its last five contests.

The game, which was played at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla., was tightly contested from the opening whistle. The Seminoles eventually pulled ahead with an early lead, but couldn’t stay far from the pesky Wolfpack. 

With the game tied at 31 with less than two minutes left in the first half, Burke gave the Wolfpack its first lead with a layup. The ‘Noles fired back quickly, scoring two quick buckets to take a 35-33 lead. But Brown answered with a big three-pointer to give the Pack a 36-35 lead going into halftime. 

The Wolfpack came out of halftime and immediately hit the ground running, using an 11-3 run to jump out to a 47-38 lead with 16 minutes left in the game. The run marked a significant moment for Burke, who scored her 1,000th career point during the run. 

FSU kept clawing and scrapping away, trying to cut into the Pack’s lead. But every time the ‘Noles would get a bucket and start to gain momentum, the Wolfpack would answer back to stem the tide.

However, the Seminoles kept fighting and, courtesy of their hard-nosed defense, narrowed the Pack’s lead to four points with 4:50 left in the game. But after a media timeout, Brown found Burke in the lane, who converted a layup to put the Wolfpack up 67-61. 

Burke’s layup ended up being the decisive point of the game. Florida State kept fighting until the very end, but they couldn’t overcome the Wolfpack’s lead. The game ended after a series of free throws by both teams with the Wolfpack prevailing 76-69.

Before Thursday’s meeting, the Pack’s last game in Tallahassee, a 74-71 loss, came in 2010. The win extends the Wolfpack’s all-time record in Tallahassee to 10-7. 

N.C. State has currently won five of its last six games after starting the season with an 8-11 record. The win marks State’s fourth road victory of the season, including its second in conference play. 

The Wolfpack return to action on Sunday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Reynolds Coliseum. The game, which begins at 2:30 p.m., is also the eighth annual Hoops for Hope game to support the fight against breast cancer.