No. 2 NC State rolls over Pitt 89-54 in ACC opener

NCAA

PITTSBURGH (AP)Raina Perez and Camille Hobby scored 15 points each to lead No. 2 North Carolina State over Pittsburgh 89-54 Friday night in the ACC opener for both teams.

Perez made three 3-pointers, and the Wolfpack shot 47% from beyond the arc, going 15 of 33 and coming up one short of the school record for makes. Hobby scored all of her points in 12 minutes.

NC State (9-1) has won nine straight since opening the season with a loss to top-ranked South Carolina.

”I was pleased with the way we came out and started the game,” NC State coach Wes Moore said. ”I thoughts we came out focused. You never know. We were playing our first ACC teams against a team that’s great on the boards. I was worried we might get in foul trouble, but we did a good job of hitting the boards without fouling. I’m proud of what we were able to do tonight.”

Diamond Johnson scored 10 points for the Wolfpack. Elissa Cunane finished with nine points and 12 rebounds as NC State held a 51-37 advantage on the boards.

Jayla Everett scored 13 points and Destiny Strother added 10 for Pitt (8-3), which had its three-game winning streak end. The Panthers shot just 31%.

”North Carolina State showed why it is the No. 2 team in the country,” Pitt coach Lance White said. ”They’re very good and they’re at where we want to be. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get to that level.”

”We’ll go and grow from this game,” Panthers forward Amber Brown said.

NC State took control early, scoring the first five points and widening its lead to 22-10 by the end of the first quarter. Perez finished the period by banking in a 3-pointer from just beyond midcourt.

The Wolfpack scored the first eight points of the second quarter to make it 30-10 and cruised to a 42-23 halftime advantage.

Perez scored 13 points in the first half, including making 3 of 6 shots from deep. North Carolina State shot 56% from beyond the arc in the first two quarters, making 10 of 18 attempts.

Everett had 11 first-half points.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter, when NC State outscored Pitt 24-10 to stretch the lead to 66-33.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack’s average margin of victory during their winning streak is 28.4 points. No. 10 Indiana is the only team to stay within single digits in that span, losing 66-58.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers have made significant progress after going 21-60 in White’s first three seasons as coach. However, Pitt is 0-2 against power conference opponents this season. Its other loss was to Texas A&M.

UP NEXT

North Carolina State: Hosts Saint Mary’s on Sunday

Pittsburgh: Visits No. 22 Notre Dame on Dec. 19

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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