Kaayla Chones finished with a game-high 13 points to lead North Carolina State to a 69-42 win over the Sacramento State women''s baskeball team in the opening game of the Oregon Classic, Friday evening at McArthur Court. The game marked the first contest between the two schools.
Sacramento State dropped tp 0-3 on the season while NC State improved to 3-1.
In the first half, Sacramento State scored the first basket of the contest when sophomore Sarah Craig nailed a 15-foot jumper from the right baseline. The Wolfpack answered back with a 13-4 run to make it 13-6 at the 11:09 mark. After trailing by as many as 10, the Hornets cut the lead to 18-13 with 5:48 remaining after a three-point play by sophomore Katelyn Ciampi. NC State stormed back with a 16-3 run to take a 34-16 lead at the half.
The Hornets were able to hold Chones to nine points, forcing NC State to shoot from the outside. Chones, a preseason All-America candidate, entered the contest averaging 17.5 ppg. Terah Jones finished with eight points and Billie McDowell added six to pace the Wolfpack''s scoring in the first half. the duo combined to average just 6.0 ppg after two games this season. The Wolfpack held a 20-19 rebounding advantage in the first frame but nine of those boards were on the offensive end. Craig finished with five points to lead the Hornet offense.
In the second half, Sacramento State outscored the Wolfpack (5-4) to make it 38-21 at the 17:03 mark. NC State went on a 20-6 run to open a 58-27 advantage with 7:16 remaining. The Hornets, who were down by as manuy as 33 at the 2:46 mark, managed a 9-2 run to finish the contest.
Freshman Stephanie Cherry led the Hornets with 10 points after shooting 3-of-6 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Craig finished with seven points and a game-high six rebounds to also lead the squad.
James tallied 10 points to also contribute to the Wolfpack offense. Keisha Brown added a game-high four steals.
As a team, Sacramento State finished 14-for-41 (.341) from the field while NC State shto 28-of-60 (.467). The Honets held the advantage in attempts from the charity stripe (25-11) but only managed to convert 13 of those attempts (.520)
The Hornet coaching staff (Dan Muscatell, Lindsey Dion, Karen Piers and Shaquala Williams) received a standing ovation from the McArthur Court crowd as starters were announced. The foursome were each a member of the Ducks'' program from 1997-2003.
Sacramento State will next face Kansas on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. in the second day of the Oregon Classic. The Hornets will host their home opener against Santa Clara on Monday, Dec. 1, at 7:05 p.m. in the Hornets Nest.