Raleigh, NC – NC State women’s basketball (31-3) punched a ticket to its fourth-straight Sweet 16 appearance, defeating ninth-seeded Kansas State (20-13) 89-57 on Monday afternoon inside Reynolds Coliseum.
The Wolfpack’s advancement marks the 15th Sweet 16 appearance in program history and is the first time in team history that NC State has reached four in a row.
Kayla Jones poured in 18 points for the highest NCAA Tournament scoring outing of her career to lead all players on the floor. The graduate forward missed just one shot, going 8-of-9 and adding in five rebounds and three assists.
Raina Perez and Diamond Johnson joined her in double figures with 15 apiece. Johnson was a perfect 5-of-5 from distance, setting a new season high in three pointers made and finishing just one short of her career high. Perez also pitched in multiple threes with a trio and dished out a team-leading four assists.
NC State took control of the game in the second quarter where it outscored Kansas State by 12 points (26-14) to lead 43-27 after 20 minutes of action. The Wolfpack scored 14 of the first 16 points of the period and shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) on its way to opening up first-half advantages of as large as 20 points.
That came after a solid close to the first quarter during which NC State held Kansas State without a field goal for the final seven and a half minutes of the period.
NC State shot 40+ percent in all four quarters of the game, adding another 60+ percent mark (62.5 percent) in the third quarter to push its lead closer to 30, and the Wolfpack set another program-best NCAA Tournament scoring margin of 32 in Monday’s win. The team also shot a blistering 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from three-point range.
The Wolfpack took great care of the ball against the Wildcats, forcing 16 Kansas State turnovers while recording just six of its own. NC State also owned a significant 12-5 advantage in offensive rebounds and scored 15 second chance points.
The Wolfpack heads to Bridgeport, Conn., for regional action where it will face the winner of today’s game between fourth-seeded Oklahoma and fifth-seeded Notre Dame on Saturday, March 26. The finalized opponent, tip-off time and television designation for NC State’s Sweet 16 matchup will be announced when it is available.