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North Carolina State 69, Syracuse 60

RALEIGH, N.C. - Aislinn Konig scored 13 points and Erika Cassell added a season-high 12 points to help No. 8 N.C. State beat Syracuse 69-60.

N.C. State (24-4, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost three if its previous four games, needed - and received - contributions from unusual places as leading scorer Elissa Cunane was held to eight points in 11 minutes because of foul trouble.

Cassell exceeded her season-high by five points, and fellow senior Grace Hunter contributed 10 points in a season-high 31 minutes as the Wolfpack clinched the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.

Kayla Jones had 12 points and 14 rebounds and N.C. State had four scorers in double figures.

Syracuse (15-13, 9-8) had won five of its last six, but was held to 35.8% shooting from the field in the loss. Junior guard Kiara Lewis scored 20 points and Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi added 10 for the Orange.

In celebration of senior night, N.C. State started a lineup with four seniors and Jones, who is a junior. It turned out better than the Wolfpack could have expected, as coach Wes Moore stuck with that group for almost six minutes and the team posted its highest-scoring quarter since a Feb. 6 game at Virginia Tech.

Cassell, who normally backs up Cunane, scored four points in the first six minutes. Cunane came off the bench to contribute eight points in the final four minutes of the quarter, which ended with the Wolfpack ahead 25-16.

Syracuse trailed 40-33 at halftime. Emily Engster made a 3-pointer from the wing and scored in the low post to cut the Orange deficit to 42-40 in the third minute of the third quarter. But Konig drove for a left-handed layup and passed to Jones for a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to increase the lead to seven points.

A Konig 3-pointer and a buzzer-beating 7-footer by Cassell in the final minute of the third extended the lead to 61-48, virtually ensuring a win for the Wolfpack.

Associated Press

February 27, 2020

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