Leslie leads NC State past Terps 74-60 and women’s Sweet 16
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.
Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.
N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.
Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.
Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points – 14 fewer than her average – on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.
Maryland’s offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation’s stingiest defenses.
N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months – top-seeded Notre Dame – has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.
Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation’s seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who’s third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn’t attempt one.
N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men’s program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she’s headed to one, too.
N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.
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