RALEIGH, N.C. — Kai Crutchfield made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points and No. 13 N.C. State used a high-intensity halfcourt defense and strong rebounding to beat No. 9 Maryland 66-59 on Thursday night in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge game.
Elissa Cunane added 16 points and 15 rebounds to help the Wolfpack (9-0) remain undefeated and notch their 34th consecutive home victory over a nonconference opponent.
Taylor Mikesell had 13 points and Blair Watson 12 - all in the first half - for the Terrapins (7-2). They had won six in a row, but couldn’t overcome a 51-27 rebounding disadvantage.
Aislinn Konig had four assists in the third quarter as N.C. State turned a two-point halftime deficit into a nine-point advantage late in the third period. Maryland fought back to 50-49 on Diamond Miller’s free throw with 6:20 remaining in the game, but Crutchfield made two 3-pointers and a fast-break layup in the final 5:25.
The Terrapins and Wolfpack frustrated each other for most of the game with different styles of suffocating defense. Maryland mixed in full-court pressure with aggressive defense on the perimeter to force 28 turnovers. N.C. State challenged shots relentlessly and held the Terrapins to 22-for-65 shooting from the field.
Maryland: After posting an average scoring margin of plus-43.2 in its last five games, a challenging road meeting against a ranked opponent probably was what Maryland needed at this time of the season. The Terrapins did a lot of good things, but will need to improve their work on the boards to win a game of this caliber.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack were ready to compete in its first meeting with a ranked opponent this season. Holding Maryland 27 points below its season scoring average shows that N.C. State has a defense that’s well prepared for ACC play.
Maryland: Plays at home Sunday against Loyola (Maryland) before a 10-day break.
N.C. State: Has a 10-day break before a Dec. 15 meeting at home with Elon.
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