7:00 PM ET, January 2, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State turned in its best defensive performance of the season Monday night to end No. 25 Virginia Tech's unbeaten streak.Tiffany Stansbury scored all 14 of her points in the second half and the Wolfpack held the Hokies to 28-percent shooting in a 65-44 win.Ashley Key added 12 points while Khadijah Whittington had a solid all-around game for the Wolfpack (10-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which improved to 7-0 at home.The Wolfpack set a team-record with 14 blocked shots, and the 28-percent shooting was the lowest they've allowed this season. The Wolfpack also tied their season-best by allowing just 18 field goals, holding the Hokies 28 points below their average.Virginia Tech (12-1, 0-1) also committed 28 turnovers, though many were unforced with bad passing against the Wolfpack's zone defense in the first half.The defense wasn't perfect, Wolfpack coach Kay Yow said, but it was certainly more than enough on Monday."I'm always an optimist when it comes to defense and I'm always looking for that perfect game of building that wall where you can't get in there," she said. "I thought they were more solid tonight than they've been in any game we've played, and that's what it's going to take."We're going to have to have solid defense. We have to make it tough to score against us. If it's easy, then it'll really take us out of the game."N.C. State took control late in the first half, using a 24-4 run spanning the break to take an 18-point lead. The lead grew to as many as 23 points, with Stansbury going 6-for-7 from the floor in just 14 second-half minutes.The Wolfpack got several contributions on offense. Whittington scored all 10 of her points early when Stansbury picked up two quick fouls and played just four first-half minutes, while reserve Gillian Goring had 10 points and six blocks to make up for Stansbury's absence in the post.Dawn Chriss scored 14 points for the Hokies, while Kerri Gardin -- who came in averaging a team-best 12.9 points -- finished with 11 points on 5-for-17 shooting."We didn't take care of the ball, and we didn't execute against the zone and there was a lid on the basket," Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger said. "I thought early on we were dribbling right into them and trying to shoot over them, and that makes it a little bit easier to block."Marquetta Dickens hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 12-2 run to close the first half and give the Wolfpack a 27-19 lead at the break. Goring, a 6-foot-7 junior, had six points and three blocks at halftime.The Wolfpack got all the cushion they would need with another 12-2 burst to start the second half. N.C. State scored on its first six possessions, with Stansbury -- who didn't get off a shot in the first half -- scoring three inside baskets during the run.By the time Monica Pope found Key down court for a transition layup to close the run, N.C. State led 39-21 with 16:35 left.Virginia Tech got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
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