|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Feb 17, 2022
William Neal Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, North Carolina Attendance: 5,500
Big offense carries No. 4 N.C. State women past Wake Forest
By BOB SUTTON
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Wes Moore didn't shy away from spreading a little breaking news to his No. 4 North Carolina State team right before Thursday night's opening tip.
The Wolfpack players liked what they heard - No. 3 Louisville had just lost at No. 24 North Carolina in nearby Chapel Hill - and Moore liked what he saw in N.C. State's 92-61 victory over Wake Forest.
Diamond Johnson scored 16 points to lead a balanced attack, and N.C. State moved closer to its first regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title since the 1989-90 season.
"I told them in the huddle," Moore said of Louisville's loss. "We need to take care of our own business. Obviously, that's the most important thing. I think that gave them a jolt of energy."
The Wolfpack (23-3, 14-1) holds a 1 1/2-game lead on Louisville with two games to play.
"We want to be regular-season champions, so we know that we have to come out every night and play hard," N.C. State guard Jakia Brown-Turner said. "We're trying to get momentum going. The more we win, the more we'll keep it going."
The Wolfpack racked up its most points in any quarter this season - 37 in the third - on the way to their fifth straight victory. Brown-Turner rolled up 15 points, reserve Camille Hobby posted 14 points, Kayla Jones had 11 points and Elissa Cunane added 10 points for N.C. State.
"We're very blessed to have a lot of people that can come in on any given night and give us a bolt of energy," Moore said.
Elise Williams had 14 points and Christina Morra scored 13 for Wake Forest (13-13, 3-12), which lost for the 10th time in its last 11 games. ACC scoring leader Jewel Spear notched 11 points, well below her average of 19.2.
"Once we weren't scoring, it affected our defensive intensity," Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover said.
After going 1 for 8 on 3-point shots in the first half, the Wolfpack went 8 for 9 on long-range shots in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. Those baskets were a big part of a 37-18 third-quarter edge for the Wolfpack.
"We expected them to go on runs. We expected to go on our own runs," Hoover said. "We knew it was a big challenge coming in here. Things have to happen right. . Unfortunately, we only did that for a quarter."
N.C. State scored the first eight points of the second quarter for a 22-13 edge. The Wolfpack led by as many as 18 and went into halftime up 39-25. That margin ballooned to 53-28 after N.C. State made three 3-pointers in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were trying to string together consecutive victories after beating Virginia on Sunday. It has been more than two months since they've won two in a row, and the Demon Deacons are simply trying to put together a few good games down the stretch.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack had it rolling after a rather ordinary opening 10 minutes. N.C. State shot 51.5% from the field to help it to its largest point total in ACC play this season. After withstanding second-half challenges in the previous three games, the Wolfpack was able to coast.
THREE AT A TIME
N.C. State's 3-point barrage in the third quarter wasn't necessarily by design.
"You got to tell them opposite of what you want," Moore said. "At halftime, we were 1 for 8 from 3, and we were doing really well scoring otherwise. So I tell them, `Hey, let's keep attacking the basket. Don't just rely on the 3.' So what do they do? They go out and hit every 3 in sight."
Brown-Turner confirmed that version of the halftime instructions.
"He definitely told us that. At the end of the day, our goal is to play inside-out," Brown-Turner said. ". We played our game. Sometimes it works out like that."
Wake Forest had allowed just 5.5 made 3s per game, and wasn't anticipating the Wolfpack's sudden outburst from the perimeter.
"The third quarter, I think was a shoot-around for them," Hoover said.
It was a program-record 15th ACC regular-season victory for N.C. State. . The Wolfpack has won eight straight meetings with Wake Forest. . Wake Forest dropped to 0-66 all-time vs. top-5 teams.
Wake Forest: At Boston College on Sunday.
N.C. State: Hosts Syracuse on Sunday in the regular-season home finale.
More AP women's college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Updated February 17, 2022