In the third group stage matchup in Group A of the Raleigh Ramble, the North Carolina State Wolfpack defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons by a score of 60-28 in an all-around dominating performance. Each team was playing in their third games of the day, with Wake Forest being 0-2 and NC State being 2-0. There was no major upset in this battle as the Wolfpack won comfortably while maintaining complete control of the game from the opening whistle to the final buzzer.
The Wolfpack were ahead comfortably, 21-7, with 5 minutes left in the 1st half when Wake Forest went on a run to close the half and narrow the gap to 9 points, 25-16 going into the half. Although they took the momentum into halftime, NC State stymied that momentum to start the 2nd half as they came out firing from behind the arch. Vanessa Bissinger hit 3 3-pointers in a 3-minute stretch as a part of a 13-1 NC State run to begin the 2nd half. From here, the Wolfpack just kept their foot on the gas and really blew this game out of hand.
Sydney Hill for the Demon Deacons was effective getting to the basket and converting her opportunities, as well as drawing fouls as she went to the line 10 times in today’s game. This, however was about all that was working for Wake Forest. They struggled mightily against NCSU’s grueling man-to-man defense. Wake could not create any space to get any good looks at the basket, all of their shots were forced and hectic thanks to the constant nagging of NC State’s defense.
For NC State, they shut down the paint defensively, and dominated in the paint offensively. They had upwards of 10 blocks, not allowing Wake Forest to get any sort of offense going down low. Offensively over 50% of their points came in the paint, as Wake Forest did not have any answer for the size that NC State possessed. The two big names that dominated in the paint all day long were Anna Lavella and Brianna Harvey. Both of these players dominated offensively and were able to have their way the whole game. Anna Lavella blocked a handful of shots, grabbed multiple rebounds, and scored double digit points.
In the first half NC State struggled from the perimeter, but in the second half they were able to find their rhythm from outside as they hit 5 threes in the second half. Combining this with their dominant interior play allowed for NC State to really push the margin and put this game out of reach.
NC State is in the midst of a great season with a team that features 5 returners from their National Runner-Up team from last year. With their 3 victories today they advance to a 13-2 record on the season, and will compete tomorrow in the knockout round of the Raleigh Ramble hoping to keep their run of good basketball going into the rest of the season.