An alley-oop layup from Aziaha James to Madison Hayes at 1:41 remaining and a Mimi Collins turnaround jumper at 1:07 remaining took a seven-point lead for the No. 20 NC State Wolfpack and pushed it to 11, forcing the Miami Hurricanes to foul and eventually lose 71-61 Thursday night at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
A 31-7 Pack run between the first and second quarters guided them toward snapping a two-game skid. It took the score from 10-2 Hurricanes to 33-17 NC State with 2:05 to go before halftime. The Pack continued to lead by double digits until a Haley Cavinder three cut it to 57-49 one minute and 53 seconds into the fourth.
Haley Cavinder’s twin sister, Hanna, made a three that cut it to 59-52 at 7:25 remaining, but Miami would not get any closer than within seven over the remainder of the contest.
James and Saniya Rivers alternated baskets for an initial 8-0 run within the 31-7 run that tied the game at 10. River Baldwin, who left the game in the second quarter due to injury and did not return, scored six of the Pack’s next 10 points, as the team closed the opening frame with a 20-14 lead.
Both sides went without a trey until Diamond Johnson opened the second-quarter scoring with a triple that made it 23-14. That make came following a Baldwin block on the other end. It was followed by an offensive foul on Miami’s Lashae Dwyer. Hayes then made a three that rolled around the rim twice before going down, making it 26-14. It was just one of those stretches where everything went right for the home team. That three was the climax of the 31-7 run and, really, the climax of the game, as momentum never fully shifted back to Miami.
NC State took its largest lead of the night (18) on a Mimi Collins 3-point play at the 8:46 mark of the third. The Hurricanes would get no closer than within 12 in that frame.
In the second half, Rivers caught a couple steals cleanly and easily took them the other way for layups, like a defensive back going untouched on a pick-six in football. She led the Pack with 14 points and also had a game-high six steals and a game-high-tying three assists. She was 7-of-8 from inside the arc and 0-of-3 from beyond it. With her help, NC State won fast break points 20-4.
Lola Pendande (8-of-11 from the field) notched 21 points, eight boards and three assists in defeat.
Both teams were just 3-of-16 from distance (18.8 percent).