BC-BKW--T25-Wake Forest-NC State
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Aislinn Konig scored 14 points and handed out six assists to help No. 9 North Carolina State breeze to an easy 80-46 win over Wake Forest on Thursday night.
Kiara Leslie and Kayla Jones added 14 points apiece and Kai Crutchfield contributed 12 as the Wolfpack held Wake Forest to 27 percent shooting from the field and rushed out to a 47-20 halftime lead. N.C. State (23-3, 10-3 ACC) improved to 38-5 against the Deacons in games held in Raleigh.
Alex Raca scored 15 points and Alex Sharp added 10 to lead Wake Forest (10-16, 1-12), which suffered its sixth consecutive defeat and has lost 12 of its last 13.
Crutchfield made a fast-break layup and a jumper from the free throw line to help N.C. State score 12 of the first 14 points and take control of the game early. Meanwhile, the Deacons had as many turnovers as points in the first quarter, which ended with the Wolfpack ahead 27-7.
It was N.C. State’s first win by a double-digit margin since a 66-38 win over Virginia on Jan. 13 as the Wolfpack has struggled to manage an increasingly depleted roster with four key players out for the season with knee injuries. N.C. State won its first 21 games and was the nation’s last remaining undefeated team, but had dropped three of four heading into Thursday’s game and has just nine healthy players.
Wake Forest: This has been a difficult stretch for the Deacons, whose six straight losses are all by a margin of at least nine points. Upcoming home games against Duke and Pittsburgh, which both are in the lower part of the ACC standings along with Wake Forest, provide chances to break the skid.
N.C. State: The win takes some of the sting out of a 23-point loss to Notre Dame in the Wolfpack’s previous outing. But visits to North Carolina - which defeated N.C. State on Feb. 3 - and No. 4 Louisville will provide bigger challenges to this injury-riddled group.
Wake Forest: Plays host to Duke on Sunday.
N.C. State: Visits North Carolina on Sunday.