Raleigh, NC -- Packed does not even begin to describe the outcome of NC State fans as NC State hosted the North Carolina Tar Heels to Raleigh for the 101st meeting on Sunday, January 31st at Holliday Gymnasium.
NC State fans overflowed the local two-story high school gymnasium to watch the most frequently played matchup in ACC women's basketball history. All stadium seating was full and fans even stood in rows along the circumference on the second story to cheer on the Wolfpack to their win, 78-49.
The NC State Wolfpack is now 16-6, and 7-2 in the ACC and the North Carolina Tar Heels drop to 12-11 and 2-6 in the ACC.
Tar Heel Head Coach, Sylvia Hatchell was not present during Sunday's game against the NC State Wolfpack. She suffered a one-game University issued suspension for making contact with an official during the Tar Heels last matchup against Duke. The NCAA is also suspending Hatchell for their next game against Louisville for reasons regarding a violation of game day introductions of prospects during an official visit.
"She's our emotional leader. She would have had them fired up," said North Carolina Associate Head Coach, Andrew Calder. "We have champions in our locker room who want to play for Coach Hatchell."
"We really miss that emotion, getting us fired up on the sidelines," Tar Heel Jamie Cherry chimed in.
The Wolfpack was quick to get on the board, so quick that it only took them 20 seconds to kick-start the contest. At the end of the first period, NC State lead by two, 19-17. The Wolfpack quickly picked up a total of four fouls, with the Tar Heels following just behind with three.
As the flow of the game seemed to go, Carolina was always quick to respond to the Wolfpack. NC State held the lead at the half with 33, while Carolina was close behind with 28. Jennifer Mathurin and Dominique Wilson contributed nine points each for the Wolfpack and Mathurin continued to follow through with six rebounds. Jamie Cherry provided a leading eight points for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina's defense could not keep up with the untamed run of the NC State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack took their lead and ran with it, 61-39 by the end of the third. Miah Spencer and Dominique Wilson both with 16 points for NC State. The Tar Heels were regularly stopped with traveling calls and personal fouls, Hillary Summers with four.
"Those kids are some pretty good players, so you knew it was going to be a battle," said NC State Head Coach Wes Moore. "I know we widened the score there in the second half but they are a quality team, and we stressed keeping them off the boards."
Early on in the fourth, Summers picked up her fifth foul. Mathurin finished with 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack and teammate Wilson finished with a 21-point contribution. Spencer finished with 20 points for the Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack has now won 7 of 8 recent contests.
"State fans are the best in the world, if we give them something to watch, they'll come," said Head Coach Moore.
The North Carolina Tar Heels will return home to host No. 14 Louisville and the Wolfpack will head to Notre Dame. Both teams are set to play at 7 p.m. on February 4th.