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  #8 NC State 56, #9 Clemson 45
Late Wolfpack Women Run Dismisses Tigers
March 7, 2013

 
By Rob Clough, Photos by Orin Day

Kody Burke and NC State fought off a tough challenger in Clemson to advance to Friday's quarterfinal round against Duke
Photo by Orin Day

The Nutshell: Despite trailing most of the game against a scrappy, motivated Clemson club, NC State put them away in the final three minutes of the game with a 16-1 run. Kody Burke and Marissa Kastanek made all the key plays down the stretch against a Tiger team that essentially ran out of energy and enthusiasm once the Wolfpack took the lead. To say the least, Clemson is not a team built to play from behind, and it was obvious that their motor started to run down late in the game. It didn't help that team catalyst Nikki Dixon was out of the game with four fouls during State's run; coach Itoro Coleman probably kept her on the bench a minute or two too long. It was a gamble that backfired, but I'm guessing she thought her bench could hold the line the way it did in the first half when she was in foul trouble.

NC State had trouble developing any rhythm on offense in the first half. Only a trio of treys allowed the game to be as close as it was at the half (29-26), because they weren't getting the kind of production they wanted from their bigs. That said, State had multiple opportunities to pull ahead and then pull away, but they let them slip away. Meanwhile, Clemson was getting scoring from everyone on their bench, often on penetration or on kickouts for short jumpers. The Tigers went up 44-40 with under seven minutes to go, and that's when State seemed to develop a sense of urgency and the meaning of the moment started to dawn on the Tigers. The Tigers had that 4 point lead and the ball but missed a jump shot. What's worse is that the Tigers then put State on the line. Clemson then missed multiple shots that would have given them more of a cushion, shots taken by young players like Aisha Turner. If Dixon had been on the floor, the outcome might have been different. However, the Wolfpack Women were smart enough to pounce on the Tigers when they were down a crucial player and did a great job of turning Clemson misses into transition opportunities. The Wolfpack will now get to play Duke in the quarterfinals.

Top Performers:

  1. Marissa Kastanek, NC State. 14 points, 2 steals. She got going late in the game and led State's comeback.

  2. Kody Burke, NC State. 16 points, 6 rebounds. She hit a couple of huge baskets down the stretch to put the game away.

  3. Quinyotta Pettaway, Clemson. 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals. Her energy hurt State for much of the game.

Why NC State Won: They woke up from a game-long funk just in time to make critical shots down the stretch. Kody Burke was weak with the ball (just 6 rebounds, with many balls slipping right through her fingers) and missed five or six layups. Down the stretch, however, she hit a huge jumper and converted a three point play. This game was NC State's season in microcosm: long periods of indifferent and sloppy play with bursts of intensity and efficiency from a big, deep team with multiple shooting options.

Why Clemson Lost: Shots they were making in the first half simply weren't dropping in the second. They shot just 5-30 from the floor and missed their last nine shots of the game. They didn't do enough to convert their hustle plays, as they scored 12 points from 19 State turnovers and 12 points from 16 offensive rebounds. Not being able to convert those easy shots made their 1-14 shooting from three all the more problematic.

The Game Turned When...: Marissa Kastanek hit a trey with 2:58 left that put State ahead for good at 47-44 and was the most important shot of State's game-ending 16-1 run. That shot energized her team's flagging enthusiasm.

X-Factor: Krystal Barrett. She was one of the few Pack players who seemed active and engaged the whole game, especially on the defensive end. She led the team with 3 assists and 3 steals and put a lot of pressure on Clemson's ballhandlers.

Areas For Improvement: Kody Burke has to be more physical and finish through contact, or else Duke will totally shut her down. Both she and Gatling have to be much stronger in going after rebounds; Clemson had a big edge on the boards until the very end of the game, as State was just +1 overall. The Wolfpack also turned the ball over 19 times and were lucky that it only led to 12 points for the Tigers.

Ramifications: Clemson's season is done, and for a second straight year, they failed to win at least ten games. While they had an uptick of three more wins this season, that rate of improvement is glacial and certainly doesn't represent what many thought would be a turnaround season for the Tigers. That turnaround went down the tubes when they had mass player defections, and their future as a program under Itoro Coleman seems shaky, to say the least. Meanwhile, NC State survived sleepwalking for 35 minutes and will now get that shot at Duke that they desired. This win also guaranteed a trip to the WNIT no matter what. A win against Duke would go a long way in helping Kellie Harper make her case for being retained for a contract extension.

ACCWBBDigest Photos by Orin Day

Public photos are now available below, and as always, members see additional exclusive photos with a larger size available. Also, we apologize that the photos in this gallery are not in chronological order due to a processing error.
Link to this Photo More photos are on the way!  - CLEM Players: #10 Aisha Turner
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Link to this Photo The fearsome t-shirt gun - it takes two men just to move it!
The fearsome t-shirt gun - it takes two men just to move it!
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: Mascot Mr. Wuf
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #23 Chancie Dunn
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #12 Krystal Barrett - CLEM Tags: #5 Kelly Gramlich
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Link to this Photo Foul on Turner  - CLEM Players: #10 Aisha Turner
Foul on Turner
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling - CLEM Tags: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
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NCSU Tags: #34 Markeisha Gatling
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling - CLEM Tags: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
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NCSU Tags: #34 Markeisha Gatling
CLEM Tags: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #5 Kelly Gramlich
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #23 Chancie Dunn
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: Head Coach Itoro Coleman
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #5 Kelly Gramlich
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: Mascot The Tiger
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #10 Aisha Turner
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Link to this Photo Pat Kinas in the front, Duke scouts behind
Pat Kinas in the front, Duke scouts behind
Link to this Photo OK, somebody explain this to me.  Can I tag this as NC State fans?  - NCSU Players:  NCSU Fans
OK, somebody explain this to me. Can I tag this as NC State fans?
 
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Link to this Photo More photos will be added after Game 3 finishes...  - NCSU Players: #5 Breezy Williams
More photos will be added after Game 3 finishes...
 
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Link to this Photo Debbie Antonelli and Bob Holliday
Debbie Antonelli and Bob Holliday
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek - CLEM Tags: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers
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NCSU Tags: #23 Marissa Kastanek
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Link to this Photo Burke meets Ford in the paint  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke - CLEM Tags: #34 Natiece Ford
Burke meets Ford in the paint
 
NCSU Tags: #44 Kody Burke
CLEM Tags: #34 Natiece Ford
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling
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NCSU Tags: #34 Markeisha Gatling
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek
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NCSU Tags: #23 Marissa Kastanek

Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #23 Chancie Dunn
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CLEM Tags: #23 Chancie Dunn
Link to this Photo Foul on Pettaway  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke - CLEM Tags: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
Foul on Pettaway
 
NCSU Tags: #44 Kody Burke
CLEM Tags: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
Link to this Photo
"Who, me?" (see prior photo for proof)
 
CLEM Tags: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway

Link to this Photo Clean block by Tay is our
Clean block by Tay is our "Photo of the Game"
 
NCSU Tags: #23 Marissa Kastanek
CLEM Tags: #1 Charmaine Tay
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
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Link to this Photo Things getting rough in the paint  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke - CLEM Tags: #10 Aisha Turner
Things getting rough in the paint
 
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Link to this Photo Pettaway's retro kicks  - CLEM Players: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
Pettaway's retro kicks
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #12 Krystal Barrett - CLEM Tags: #1 Charmaine Tay
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: Head Coach Kellie Harper
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke
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Link to this Photo Aisha Turner tries her hand at impromptu soccer  - NCSU Players: #2 Le'Nique Brown - CLEM Tags: #10 Aisha Turner
Aisha Turner tries her hand at impromptu soccer
 
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Link to this Photo Referee huddle - Joanne Aldrich, Joe Cunningham, and the back of Ed Sidlasky
Referee huddle - Joanne Aldrich, Joe Cunningham, and the back of Ed Sidlasky

Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek
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Link to this Photo Kastanek soars to the basket  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek
Kastanek soars to the basket
 
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Link to this Photo State making a comeback
State making a comeback
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #5 Kelly Gramlich, #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #2 Le'Nique Brown
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Link to this Photo The tension heating up in the last five minutes  - CLEM Players: #1 Charmaine Tay
The tension heating up in the last five minutes
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players:  Clemson Cheerleaders
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Link to this Photo And down the stretch they come...
And down the stretch they come...

Link to this Photo NC State full court press  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek, #2 Le'Nique Brown - CLEM Tags: #1 Charmaine Tay
NC State full court press
 
NCSU Tags: #23 Marissa Kastanek, #2 Le'Nique Brown
CLEM Tags: #1 Charmaine Tay
Link to this Photo Foul on Ford  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke - CLEM Tags: #34 Natiece Ford
Foul on Ford
 
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Link to this Photo Burke hit the layup, and the ensuing free throw gave State a 52-45 lead with 1:41 remaining  - NCSU Players: #44 Kody Burke
Burke hit the layup, and the ensuing free throw gave State a 52-45 lead with 1:41 remaining
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #1 Myisha Goodwin-Coleman - CLEM Tags: #23 Chancie Dunn
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #1 Myisha Goodwin-Coleman - CLEM Tags: #21 Nikki Dixon, #23 Chancie Dunn
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NCSU Tags: #1 Myisha Goodwin-Coleman
CLEM Tags: #21 Nikki Dixon, #23 Chancie Dunn
Link to this Photo Shot missed, but foul on Dunn
Shot missed, but foul on Dunn

Link to this Photo Ballgame - NC State advances to face #1 seed Duke on Friday at 2 PM
Ballgame - NC State advances to face #1 seed Duke on Friday at 2 PM
Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #23 Marissa Kastanek
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: Head Coach Kellie Harper
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Link to this Photo On Natice Ford's leg  - CLEM Players: #34 Natiece Ford
On Natice Ford's leg
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: Mascot The Tiger,  Clemson Cheerleaders,  Clemson Band
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: Head Coach Itoro Coleman
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: Head Coach Kellie Harper
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #5 Kelly Gramlich
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: Head Coach Itoro Coleman
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players:  NCSU Cheerleaders
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"I got a t-shirt!!!"
 
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - NCSU Players: #2 Le'Nique Brown
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Link to this Photo ACCWBBDigest Photo  - CLEM Players: #12 Quinyotta Pettaway
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Link to this Photo Tiger sandwich
Tiger sandwich
Link to this Photo Two Gatling free throws tied the game for State with 3:50 left  - NCSU Players: #34 Markeisha Gatling
Two Gatling free throws tied the game for State with 3:50 left
 
NCSU Tags: #34 Markeisha Gatling

Link to this Photo Kody Burke's 5 straight points down the stretch were essential in State's win
Kody Burke's 5 straight points down the stretch were essential in State's win
Link to this Photo Chancie Dunn reaches in to foul in the late going  - NCSU Players: #1 Myisha Goodwin-Coleman - CLEM Tags: #23 Chancie Dunn
Chancie Dunn reaches in to foul in the late going
 
NCSU Tags: #1 Myisha Goodwin-Coleman
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Link to this Photo Ballgame  - CLEM Players: Head Coach Itoro Coleman
Ballgame
 
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