Len’Nique Brown drained a 3-pointer for NC State less than three minutes into her team’s matchup with Boston College.
After Katie Zenevitch hit a layup, Kody Burke put the Eagles down 12-2, before her teammate Myisha Coleman-Goodwin nailed a triple, increasing her team’s lead over BC to 13 points. It was a hole the Eagles came close to crawling out of, but one that was ultimately too much.
The Eagles tried to keep No. 24 NC State under pressure with persistence on Thursday, but eventually fell to the Wolfpack, losing 85-76.
BC shot 46.4 percent (eight of 15) from its 3-point attempts and kept its opponents honest on the boards with 33 rebounds to NC State’s 35.
NC State set the tone early, demonstrating a strong outside game by draining its first three shots from behind the arc. This forced BC to work hard to combat the Wolfpack’s strong offense throughout the first half.
The Eagles were able to recover from their poor start. Freshman Kelly Hughes’ first half contributions included three 3-pointers. Her affinity for triples continued in the second half, and by the end of the game she was six of 10 from behind the 3-point line.
Her buckets helped the Eagles bring the score to 41-39 at the end of the first half.
The Eagles had the opportunity to tie the game at the start of the second half, but failed to do so. Hughes picked the pocket of Krystal Barrett, but Kristen Doherty’s layup attempt at the other end was rejected by Markeisha Gatling.
Gatling was key for the Wolfpack, giving the BC defense constant trouble and finishing the game with 27 points and eight rebounds.
The Wolfpack maintained its lead throughout the second half, with BC battling hard to close the gap. In addition to Gatling, the NC State offense was powered by 6-foot-2 forward Kody Burke. The two of them accounted for 51 of their team’s 85 points, and their rebounding skills worked to keep the Eagles in check.
Head coach Erik Johnson’s team was able to pull within one however, when Hughes nailed a 3-pointer moments later to cut the Wolfpack’s advantage to one. Burke was able to counter with a triple on NC State’s next possession, though. A jumper from Zenevitch followed, cutting the Eagles’ deficit to two, and free throws from Nicole Boudreau did the same with less than 15 minutes remaining.
But NC State went on a 14-3 run, which ended with a Lakeesa Daniel free throw with 9:45 remaining.
BC kept the game as close as it could. Zenevitch and Doherty fought hard against the Wolfpack on defense and offense. Throughout the game, Zenevitch posted 19 points and Doherty had 10 points and four assists.
On the defensive end, Doherty pulled down six rebounds, but both she and Zenevitch got into foul trouble. Each ended the game with four fouls, causing Zenevitch to spend time on the bench. During Zenevitch’s seated time, NC State managed six straight points to push back against the Eagle’s offensive momentum.
The Eagles managed to come within seven points of the Wolfpack with a 3-pointer from Hughes, but continued efforts could not bring the game any closer, causing the Eagles to drop their second consecutive game.