The Lady Wolfpack fought tooth and nail Sunday afternoon against a Virginia Tech Hokie squad that was intent on giving NC State it’s first loss of the year. In a game that saw nine lead changes, this was a back and forth matchup that was well worth the admission price for any fan.
Leading the charge for the Wolfpack was guard Kiara Leslie (11) putting up 25 points. She was followed closely by guard Aislinn (Ace) Konig (1) with 20 points, who went 5-12 from beyond three point range. Not to go unmentioned, forward Erika Cassell (24) put on a defensive show late in the game that helped take the matchup to overtime. Guard Kia Crutchfield (3) snatched up nine rebounds, three offensively and 6 defensively.
It was evident in the first period that this was going to be a game, as Virginia Tech went toe to toe with the Wolfpack. The Pack was outscored 16-13 in the first period and some quick diagnosis was implemented. The second period saw the Pack score 20 to Tech’s 12 points and a small buffer was in place going into the half.
The third period was a pretty even matchup between these two squads and you could tell that Pack Coach Wes Moore and Hokie Coach Kenny Brooks had taken notice of each others teams and made notes. At the end of the third period, the Hokies were up 45-44 and the Wolfpack was looking for ways to stop Virginia Tech. The Hokies went 11-24 from three point range and they were becoming a serious threat if left unattended outside. On the same hand, if you gave them space inside they were crashing the boards and laying up for two.
The fourth period was much like the third. Both teams wanted this win and played as hard, if not harder, as the third. Tech put up 15 points to the Pack’s 14 points and the period ended in a 59-59 tie taking the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Pack was on fire. They could see win number 18 was in their grasp and they did not let up. Guard Kiara Leslie (11) went 4-4 and on the defensive side of the ball the Pack was relentless, only giving up two points. When the buzzer sounded, the Pack celebrated with a 70-61 win and moving to 18-0 on the season, and 5-0 in conference play.
The NC State Lady Wolfpack next faces Clemson at home on Thursday, January 24, 2019 and can expect a packed house.