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North Carolina State 63, North Carolina 59

North Carolina State 63, North Carolina 59

AARON BEARD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RALEIGH, N.C. - Aziaha James scored eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter and fifth-ranked North Carolina State’s defense locked down late to hold off 24th-ranked rival North Carolina 63-59.

Saniya Rivers had 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Wolfpack (19-2, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which used a 9-0 burst in the fourth to go ahead for good. Then, N.C. State’s defense came up big down the stretch, holding the Tar Heels without a point on their final seven possessions to keep tenuous control of a tight game between teams near the top of the league standings.

Deja Kelly scored 21 points to lead the Tar Heels (15-7, 7-3), who were within range when freshman Reniya Kelly knocked down a clean look at a 3-pointer to bring UNC to within 62-59 at the 3:45 mark.

But that marked the Tar Heels’ last score, with Deja Kelly missing three jumpers or drives, while Lexi Donarski committed an offensive foul on a screen with 12.5 seconds left.

Rivers hit a key free throw with 7.7 seconds left to make it a two-possession game, then the Tar Heels came up empty once more.

BIG PICTURE

UNC: The Tar Heels had been atop the ACC at 7-1 before last weekend’s stumble at Virginia. They had a quality shot to earn a marquee win against a nearby rival in front of a boisterous and hostile crowd, but couldn’t come up with a needed late basket on a night they shot 41.7%.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack’s three straight wins included road romps against Clemson and Boston College. N.C. State remained unbeaten at home despite shooting just 39.3%, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

North Carolina State athletics press release

February 1, 2024





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