Greensboro, NC – The NC State Wolfpack took on third-seeded Syracuse for the final game of the Quarterfinals on Friday, March 4th. In the last meeting between these two teams, NC State fell 55-52.
Syracuse will advance to the Semifinals on Saturday, March 5th to match up against Louisville after an 80-61 win over NC State. The Wolfpack end their season 20-11.
"When we crossed half court, they were in a pretty good position to set the trap. I don’t know if it was that different than when we played them at home, we just didn’t handle it very well," said NC State Head Coach Wes Moore.
"We pressured them for 80 minutes now this year and they by far, have been the best team who has handled our pressure this entire season," said Syracuse Head Coach Quentin Hillsman.
"Our kids just competed. They gave it a lot of effort."
Foul calls were the name of the game for the Wolfpack as they picked up four from the get-go. NC State fans applauded when two back-to-back fouls were called on Syracuse.
Syracuse led NC State at the end of the first period, 21-12.
NC State’s Dominique Wilson quickly with three fouls before the half when it was time for Chelsea Nelson to step up and respond.
State’s Ashley Williams sunk in a three as less than a minute remained in the first half to close Syracuse’s lead to six, 34-28.
Nelson led at the half with nine points for the Wolfpack. Syracuse shot for 6-of-8 in free throw attempts while NC State managed 3-of-9.
Dominique Wilson with a steal for the Wolfpack to open the third period. As less than eight minutes remained, NC State tied the game, 35-35. Jennifer Mathurin took it all the way down as NC State took the lead for the first time, 37-35. The Orange immediately responded with a three.
One three turned into a consecutive five, Alexis Peterson sunk in the first two, while Taylor Ford easily brushed three of those shots off her shoulders.
Syracuse’s Peterson, with 16 points for The Orange, and State’s Wilson, both picked up their fourth fouls to finish off the third. Syracuse led by 10, 55-45.
The Orange opened the fourth with a layup and soon following, gained their biggest lead of the game at 14. NC State’s biggest scorers, Spencer, Mathurin and Nelson each picked up their fourth foul. Wilson finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for the Wolfpack as she picked up her fifth foul.
Syracuse advances on, 80-61 over The Wolfpack.
Spencer led The Wolfpack with 22 points. Mathurin finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Nelson contributed 12 points.
Peterson finished with 18 points for Syracuse and Brianna Butler added 17.
"November and December, we weren’t a very good team to be quite honest. I’m proud of the way these young ladies have stepped up and gotten better over the last few months, so I do think that in this league that we definitely deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament. I feel like we can compete with anyone," said Moore.