Nov 9, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Sophomore forward Kiana Evans scored a career-high 16 points, while shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor, and junior forward Kody Burke led the Wolfpack with 19 more, as the NC State women’s basketball team defeated Wofford, 85-45, in its season opener Friday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum.
“I thought the kids did a good job staying focused on the task at hand,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “I think it’s important for our team to get better every single day.
“I think we’re looking for each other – looking to share the ball. I think our kids are buying into our offensive system. I was disappointed in our effort on the boards. I did not think we were technically correct on the defensive boards, but we’ll take care of that.”
Evans, a McKinney, Texas native, doubled her previous high of eight points, a total she reached three times during her freshman campaign last season. Her seven field goals made, all of which came off the bench, were also a personal best.
“This is who Kiana has been this preseason,” Harper added. “She has really improved since last season. She’s playing with a lot more confidence.”
Burke shot 8-of-14 from the field and added six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in just 25 minutes of floor time. Junior guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman scored 15 points for the Pack in 19 minutes of play, while junior transfer Markeisha Gatling pulled down 13 rebounds, while chipping in seven points in her debut.
NC State raced out on a 9-0 following the opening tip, before extending the lead to 20 points by halftime. As a team, the Wolfpack shot 16-of-31 from the field (.516), and took control underneath the basket, outscoring Wofford, 24-8, in the paint.
Burke led all scorers with 11 points and five rebounds in 16 first-half minutes, as Goodwin-Coleman contributed 10 points, three boards, two assists and two steals in 12 minutes.
The Wolfpack finished the game shooting 35-of-64 from the field (.547), 4-of-12 (.333) from three-point range and 11-of-17 (.647) from the free-throw line. The Pack outscored the Terriers 50-12 in the paint, 20-4 on fast break opportunities and 28-18 off the bench.
“I think our team is better at an up-tempo [system],” Harper stated. “I think it’s really opening up the floor for us right now.”
NC State improved to 35-4 all-time in season-opening games, and has won its last 10 opening contests.
The Wolfpack will conclude play in the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m., when it hosts either Auburn or Maine at Reynolds Coliseum.