RALEIGH, N.C. — Raina Perez scored 16 points to lead five North Carolina State players in double digits as the No. 1 Wolfpack pulled away from No. 16 Longwood for a 96-68 victory Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Perez made seven of her eight shots for N.C. State, which won a program-record 30th game this season. Jakia Brown-Turner had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Elissa Cunane tallied 13 points and seven boards. Diamond Johnson and Jada Boyd added 12 points apiece.
Longwood (22-12) got 25 points from Akila Smith and 19 from Kyla McMakin.
The Lancers kept things close with the Wolfpack early on, trailing by just four points with 4:57 to play in the second quarter. Then, following a timeout, N.C. State flipped the switch and broke off a 19-2 run to end the half. Perez had seven points, an assist and a steal during that span, and she didn’t miss a shot until the third quarter.
N.C. State would grow its lead to as much as 29 points in the second half.
N.C. State: As expected, the Wolfpack are moving on to the Round of 32. N.C. State won big over Longwood, but didn’t always play efficiently. N.C. State had 12 turnovers on the day, missed six free throws, and allowed the Lancers to score 26 points in the third quarter. And in the second half, the Wolfpack’s 3-point shooting dipped to 26.7%. Still, the Wolfpack had its third-highest scoring total of the season.
Longwood: The Lancers faced a disadvantage in size, speed and skill. Still, they were competitive at times with the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champs. The Lancers made history this season by making the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and winning a game in it by topping Mount St. Mary’s in the First Four. Most of Longwood’s core is expected to return next year, including Smith if she uses her fifth year of eligibility.
What. A. Season. 🐎💙— Longwood Lancers (@LongwoodLancers) March 19, 2022
We couldn't be more proud of what this team accomplished this season, and we look forward to building on ALL THIS next year. LET'S GO LANCERS!! #HorsePower #GoWood pic.twitter.com/iKo6WqXXoV