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OT thriller: Spencer, NC State stun No. 9 Louisville

It was a physical fight to the final buzzer in overtime, but ultimately it was the NC State Wolfpack who reigned victorious. Miah Spencer led the charge with 22 points.

NCAA Womens Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville, KY — Just call the No. 19 NC State Wolfpack the Giant Killers. The Wolfpack knocked off its third top 10 opponent this season, defeating No. 9 Louisville, 72-70.

“Couldn’t be prouder of our team,” NC State head coach Wes Moore told the media. “To come in here to get a win is very emotional, very exciting for our team.”

The North Carolina State Wolfpack entered the KFC Yum! Center looking to upset its third top 10 opponent on the season. The Wolfpack previously dethroned the 2nd ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish followed by the 6th ranked Florida State Seminoles.

While a Myisha Hines-Allen-less Louisville looked to grab its sixth consecutive victory and 21st on the season.

The Wolfpack struck first as the Louisville defense allowed Miah Spencer to drive up the middle to the bucket. But Briahanna Jackson countered with a jump shot. Spencer was able to get to the bucket easy on the following possession to put NC State up 4-2.

Louisville responded as Mariya Moore fired off a three-pointer that propelled the Cardinals on a 14-2 run.

Five turnovers committed by the Wolfpack allowed Louisville to capitalize, taking a 10 point lead.

Despite sending Nelson and Mathurin to the line to connect on 4-of-4, Louisville held the Wolfpack without a field goal for seven minutes.

Kylee Shook and Moore fired off back to back three-pointers to put Louisville up, 22-10 with 1:44 remaining in the first.

Bionca Dunham capped off the first period connecting on a layup to give Louisville a 24-10 lead heading into the second period.

The Cardinals shot 50% in the first period, while holding NC State to 25%.

The Wolfpack clawed its way back into the game in the opening minutes of the second period. Ashley Williams connected on a triple followed by a layup from Akela Maize.

Moore broke Louisville’s silence at the 6:40 mark, but NC State fired back scoring five unanswered points.

With 6:00 remaining, the Wolfpack, behind a 10-2 run, brought the score within six, 26-20. Louisville was forced to burn a timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Jazmine Jones fired off a jump shot for the Cardinals. But NC State went on a 6-0 run, behind back-to-back scoring from Spencer, to pull the Wolfpack within two.

Ciera Johnson drove to the bucket for the Cardinals as the clock hit zero, giving Louisville a 31-28 lead at the half.

NC State outscored Louisville 18-7 in the second.

Despite a fierce first period push, the Cardinals only shot 20% in the second period. The Wolfpack capitalized on Louisville’s scoring woes, going 8-of-12 from the field for 66.7%.

NC State set the tone for the third period as Wilson fired off a triple. Asia Durr countered with a jump-shot.

The Wolfpack tightened up on defense, not allowing Louisville to get a good look. NC State held Louisville scoreless while sprinting on a 9-0 run to take a 42-34 lead on the Cardinals.

Jackson broke the drought for Louisville grabbing a layup.

The Wolfpack got out to a 10-point lead. But the Cardinals fought back behind triples from Moore and Durr.

But at the end of three, the Wolfpack held a 52-45 advantage.

Louisville came out in the fourth hot behind scoring from Durr and Shook. The Cardinals were able to cut the NC State lead to three, 52-49. Wilson responded with a jump-shot.

At the 4:59 mark, the Wolfpack held a 55-50 lead.

The final 4:59 was fought at the charity stripe. The Cardinals were able to rack up 6 points at the line. Louisville tied the score at 59.

With 11 seconds remaining, Maize drove to the bucket for a layup. Durr tried to lay it in for the Cardinals, but was fouled.

Durr nailed both free throws, tying the game at 61 with 6.5 seconds.

NC State drove the ball down the court, but turned the ball over as time expired.

The game headed into overtime.

Louisville misfired six shots, but rebounded each one, before Jackson was able to lay it in for two, plus one. The Cardinals kicked off overtime with a 64-61 lead.

But Wilson and Spencer countered for the Wolfpack, putting NC State ahead by one.

The Wolfpack and Cardinals went neck and neck for the lead, with neither team gaining much of an advantage.

With 10 second remaining, the game was tied at 70 and the Wolfpack got the ball.

Spencer fired off a shot as time expired, and after a short review it was confirmed that the basket was good.

“I knew we needed a basket,” said Miah Spencer. “Coach trusted me and I just put it up and it went it.”

The Wolfpack knocked out its third top 10 opponent on the season, 72-70.

“They’re a great team,” Asia Durr said. “It was a great game, we fought hard. Fought back as well. They just made a great shot.”

On his team’s effort, Coach Jeff Walz said, “We’re at the point right now where our favorite two words are, ‘my fault’.”

He added, “Our kids have to start realizing that every possession matters.”

The Cardinals finished the game connecting on 22-of-68 (32.4%) from the field, 7-of-24 (29.2%) from beyond the arc. Louisville controlled the offensive glass, pulling down 17 boards.

While the Wolfpack hit 29-of-58 from the field for 50% shooting. NC State controlled the paint, outscoring Louisville 40-20.

Top Scorers

The Cardinals had three players grab double-figures: Asia Durr paced Louisville with 22 points, 10 of which she picked up on at the charity stripe. Mariya Moore racked up 20 points and 8 boards, while Briahanna Jackson added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

For the Wolfpack, Miah Spencer picked up 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting, including the game winner as time expired. Dominique Wilson racked up 15 points, and Akela Maize tallied 11 points and 5 rebounds.

Next Up

The Cardinals head up north to South Bend to face No. 7 Notre Dame, while the Wolfpack head to Georgia Tech to take on the Yellow Jackets.