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WBB: NC State falls 68-51 to Michigan State

Posted November 29, 2012

— The NC State women’s basketball team suffered its first home loss of the 2012-13 campaign, as Michigan State downed the Wolfpack, 68-51, in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest Thursday evening at Reynolds Coliseum.

Junior guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman and junior center Markeisha Gatling led the Pack with 10 points apiece, while junior forward Kody Burke chipped in nine points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks on the night.

“They boxed-out about as well as anyone I’ve seen since I’ve been here at NC State,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “They just would not let us get an offensive board. I thought their physicality really affected us early. They were really physical with our guards and it threw us off. We looked shell-shocked.”

Michigan State charged out of the gates from the opening tip with a 14-2 run over the course of the first 4:14 to the under-16 media timeout. The Spartans would extend their lead to as many as 18 with a 29-11 lead, but the Wolfpack responded with a 10-0 run between the 8:24 and 5:56 marks, sparked by back-to-back three-pointers by Goodwin-Coleman and senior guard Marissa Kastanek.

After NC State cut the lead to 29-21 in just two and a half minutes, the two sides exchanged baskets for the remainder of the period, as Michigan State took a 39-32 lead into the locker rooms.

“We weren’t hitting shots when they were,” said Goodwin-Coleman, reflecting on Michigan State’s early scoring spree. “We were taking tough shots.”

The Wolfpack shot 12-of-27 (.444) from the field, 2-of-5 (.400) from three-point range and 6-of-8 (.750) from the free-throw line, while the Spartans shot 16-of-33 (.485) from the floor and 5-of-12 (.417) from beyond the arc in the half.

The Pack carried its momentum into the second half, racing out on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the period, cutting the Spartans’ lead to just one at 39-38.

“I thought when we made our run, we made some shots out on the floor,” Harper stated. “We also got some defensive stops during that run.”

Unfortunately for NC State, that would be the closest the Wolfpack would draw to the opposition, as Michigan State held a 29-13 advantage for the duration of the contest, en route to defending its unblemished record.

“I asked the team what went wrong after the game and they were right on it. They knew.”

Klarissa Bell led the Spartans with 21 points and Jasmine Thomas scored 16 points with four assists, while both players were tied for the team lead with seven rebounds each.

NC State shot 20-of-58 (.345) from the field, but was held to just 3-of-15 (.200) from three-point range on the night. Michigan State finished the evening 24-of-55 (.436) overall in the game, 7-of-20 (.350) from beyond the arc and 13-of-16 (.813) from the free-throw stripe.

The Wolfpack will take on its third Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponent of the season when the team travels south to Baton Rouge, La., for a matchup against LSU this Sunday, Dec. 2. Opening tip is scheduled for 3 p.m and will be on Cox Sports Television.

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