NC State women's basketball completes comeback vs. Stanford, advances to Elite Eight

by 24USATVMarch 30, 2024, 4:01 a.m. 21
-

For the second time in three years — and just the third time in program history — NC State women's basketball is going to the Elite Eight.

It didn't look likely for much of the first half. The Wolfpack trailed by 12 at one point and were down by 10 at halftime. Cameron Brink was dominant on both ends of the court, and NC State was held to just 27 points at the break.

In the second half, though, the Wolfpack woke up. NC State — led by junior Aziaha James — scored 28 in the third quarter alone, and led by as much as 15 late in the fourth as the third-seeded Wolfpack (30-6) upset second-seeded Stanford (30-6) on Friday night in Portland, Oregon, winning 77-67 to advance in March Madness.

The Wolfpack trailed by 10 points at halftime and faced long odds. The Cardinal had led by 10 or more at the half in 17 games this season, and Stanford had won them all.

FOLLOW THE MADNESS: NCAA tournament brackets, scores, schedules, teams and more.

Something in the third quarter changed for NC State, though. The Wolfpack came out firing, and quickly cut the deficit in half.

The rally really took off late in the third quarter, when Cameron Brink was called for her third foul and had to be benched. NC State took the lead for the first time since late in the first quarter with Brink on the bench and led by eight by the end of the quarter.

More March Madness:Duke basketball vs Houston live score, updates, highlights from 2024 March Madness game

In the midst of that comeback, junior James led the way. After scoring just four points in the entire first half — including none in the second quarter — James erupted in the third. She made 5 of 6 from the floor in the third quarter alone, scoring 16 points, which matched her per-game average entering Friday. She finished with 29 points, her highest scoring output in more than a month.

For both teams, leaders on the low block were forced to miss time with multiple fouls.

NC State saw both River Baldwin and Mimi Collins whistled for four fouls each, but this managed to actually help the offense, allowing the Wolfpack to run its attack through the guards. It was much more catastrophic for Stanford. Both of the Cardinal's All-American forwards, Brink and Kiki Iriafen, got into foul trouble. Brink fouled out for the second straight game, leaving a hole in the defense. Iriafen, meanwhile, was forced to play much more conservatively with her four fouls down the stretch.

NC State will play the winner of No. 1 Texas and No. 4 Gonzaga in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Zion's big night ends with late injury; status iffy

by 24USATVApril 17, 2024, 11 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Bruins lose to Senators, finish 2nd in Atlantic | NHL.com

by 24USATVApril 17, 2024, 11 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Watch: Iowa star Kate Martin's draft moment goes viral

by 24USATVApril 17, 2024, 11 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Will John Forslund leave for the Boston Bruins?

by 24USATVApril 17, 2024, 9 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

LIVE Transfer Talk: Barça, Chelsea to battle for Roma's Dybala

by 24USATVApril 17, 2024, 8 a.m.2