The No. 5 NC State women’s basketball team dominated the Florida Gators 85-52 on Sunday, Nov. 14 in Reynolds Coliseum for the team’s second win of the season.
The Wolfpack (2-1) used an excellent perimeter shooting performance and stout defense to roll all over the Gators (1-2).
“Really excited about the way we came out,” said head coach Wes Moore. “I thought our veterans set the tone and came out with a lot of energy. ... Great team win. I’ve been wanting to see us come out and play like that.”
Senior center Elissa Cunane recorded her first double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while graduate guard Kai Crutchfield was the hot hand from the outside, scoring 17 and knocking down all four of her three-point attempts in the win.
“I think we were doing really well off the pick-and-roll action,” Cunane said. “Getting layups and crashing the boards has been a big focus for me this year.”
Having the strong presence of Cunane inside and the knock-down ability of Crutchfield from the outside may have opened things up in both ways.
“It opens up a lot,” Crutchfield said. “They started to double [Cunane] at some point, and she has great sight all over the court, on the weak side and ball side. She does a great job of getting it out.”
The first half couldn’t have gone much better for NC State, which knocked down six threes at a 46.2% clip and hit 50% of its shots from the field to take a 21-point lead into halftime.
NC State slightly let its foot off the gas in the third quarter, getting outscored by the Gators 14-10, but the game was never in doubt as the Pack reasserted its dominance with a 27-point fourth quarter to win by 33 points.
The Pack finished shooting 52.5% from the field and a staggering 61.1% from beyond the arc on 11-18 shooting.
Defensively, the Pack was also dominant, holding the Gators to 32.2% from the field and outrebounding the Gators 41-30.
This NC State team has high expectations this season, and Moore sets a high standard for his players. After the first three games, he believes that consistency is what the team needs.
“I always use the analogy of McDonald’s french fries,” Moore said. “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you go to McDonald’s, you know the french fries are gonna be pretty good. We’ve got to make sure that no matter where we’re playing or who we’re playing, we’re the same.”
Next up, the Pack hosts Towson on Monday, Nov. 15 in the final game of the Preseason WNIT. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.