Friday April 19th, 2024 11:09PM

N.C. State women hold on in overtime to beat Georgia Tech 86-85

By The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The No. 6 North Carolina State women won an 86-85 overtime game against Georgia Tech on Sunday — and coach Wes Moore believes the key to victory might have been a Journey concert he attended the night before.

“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Moore said.

The Wolfpack needed that approach along with Aziaha James’ 30 points and a last-second defensive stop.

N.C. State made its first five shots in overtime, but Kara Dunn nearly orchestrated a comeback from six points down for Georgia Tech.

Dunn, who hit a 3-pointer to force the extra session, banked in a desperation heave from close to midcourt with the shot clock about to expire with 46.7 seconds to play in overtime to cut the gap to 86-85.

After regaining possession, the Yellow Jackets had the last shot, but Tonie Morgan’s baseline jumper was off the mark.

“It means that we can fight through adversity,” N.C. State guard Saniya Rivers said. “We really showed that we were strong. We stayed mentally strong. They were hitting tough shots.”

River Baldwin had 16 points and Madison Hayes had 15 points for N.C. State (23-3, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Dunn finished with 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting. Morgan had 23 points, including a hot fourth-quarter stretch, and 11 assists, and Kayla Blackshear had 16 points for Georgia Tech (15-12, 6-9), which was aiming for its first back-to-back victories since winning its first three games of January.

“This was a tough one to have to finish out, but I’m really proud of them,” Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner said. “It’s hard to swallow in a way, but there’s another piece of it that I’m just really proud of our kids. They came into this environment and performed well.”

The Yellow Jackets dropped to 0-7 vs. ranked teams. They led 73-70 with less than 2 ½ minutes left in regulation after Morgan had seven straight of her team’s points.

Baldwin tied it on a jumper from the lane with 45.8 seconds to go. After a Georgia Tech miss, N.C. State held for a potential final shot and Rivers, who had been 1 for 9 from the field, converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound with 4.2 seconds left.

Dunn drained a deep, contested 3 at 0.4 seconds to force overtime.

“You start to wonder: Is this meant to be?” Moore said. “For whatever reason, it seemed to click a little bit in overtime.”

The Wolfpack pulled in 13 offensive rebounds.

“We couldn’t guard them,” Fortner said. “We just didn’t have quite enough.”

N.C. State, which held No. 16 Notre Dame to 43 points in its previous game, gave up 18 points in the first seven minutes Sunday. The Yellow Jackets made seven of their first nine 3-point attempts to lead 41-33 before N.C. State posted the last nine points of the half, including James’ 3 at the buzzer. James was 8 for 10 before the break with 22 points.

Mimi Collins, who missed Thursday’s victory at Notre Dame with a leg injury, was back in the starting lineup and finished with nine points.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets looked poised for an upset for most of the afternoon, but their perimeter shooting faded after the hot start. Other than Dunn’s desperation launches, they made just two of their last 12 attempts on 3-pointers.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack has gone through a gauntlet of ranked opponents, but was in danger of a second loss to an unranked ACC opponent. Now, they stay in contention in the top-heavy ACC after their second home OT victory in league play.

UP NEXT

Georgia Tech: Hosts No. 18 Louisville on Thursday night.

N.C. State: Visits North Carolina on Thursday night.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball

  • Associated Categories: Sports, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball, Georgia Tech
  • Associated Tags: georgia tech, Georgia Tech women's basketball, Yellow Jackets
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