Raina Perez hit a jumper from close to the left elbow with 2.1 seconds left to assist No. 3 North Carolina State beat fifth-ranked Louisville 58-56 in Sunday’s championship sport of the Atlantic Coast Convention Event.
Perez’s shot broke a tie sport in a tense end between two of the nation’s high groups by which neither led by multiple level over the ultimate 4 minutes. And it secured the Wolfpack’s first back-to-back titles in program historical past.
Elissa Cunane scored 20 factors to steer the Wolfpack, incomes event MVP honors whereas beating the Cardinals for the second time this season.
On the successful play, Perez initially began to go to Cunane rolling into the lane, however the level guard needed to pull the ball again when the go wasn’t there. As a substitute, she collected her ft and shook off six straight misses courting to the second quarter to cleanly bury the jumper for the second-seeded Wolfpack (20-2).
The highest-seeded Cardinals (23-3) had a last probability to win it, inbounding the ball beneath their very own basket with 1 second left. However two-time ACC participant of the 12 months Dana Evans missed a 3 off Kianna Smith’s inbounds go on the horn, sending Wolfpack gamers spilling to middle court docket to rejoice.
As Wolfpack gamers mobbed and hugged one another, Evans crumpled to the court docket close to the Louisville bench, then coated her face along with her palms as teammates rapidly gathered by her facet.
It was a disappointing last play for Evans after she had struggled along with her shot for the earlier two video games and the primary half Sunday. After beginning 2 for 11 on this one, Evans abruptly obtained rolling within the third quarter with a number of robust drives in addition to a fourth-quarter 3-pointer to complete with a team-high 15 factors.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack broke via final 12 months for this system’s first ACC Event title since 1991, a part of coach Wes Moore’s push to do “particular issues.” Add one other huge merchandise to that checklist, with the Wolfpack rallying from 10 down within the fourth quarter to beat Georgia Tech in Saturday’s semifinals after which rallying from eight down within the last 9 minutes in opposition to the Cardinals.
Louisville: The Cardinals claimed the league regular-season title and the highest seed after edging N.C. State by a small win-percentage margin regardless that the Wolfpack took the one assembly, successful on the highway whereas the Cardinals held a No. 1 rating. The Cardinals rallied from seven down halfway via the third quarter to push forward 48-40 on Evans’ 3, then led 56-55 on Evans’ robust banked drive over Cunane inside close to the 2-minute mark. However the Cardinals did not rating once more and in the end got here a play or two wanting successful this system’s second ACC Event title.
Each groups are headed to Texas to play within the NCAA Event as excessive seeds, with the Wolfpack probably positioned to say at No. 1 seed with Sunday’s win.