BOX SCORE: NC State 70, No. 2 Notre Dame 62
Reynolds Coliseum is steeped in tradition and history. It took only one ACC game since its reopening to add to it.
NC State never trailed en route to a stunning 70-62 upset victory over No. 2 Notre Dame in front of a boisterous crowd at Kay Yow Court at Reynolds Coliseum in the conference opener for both schools. NC State improved to 11-3 (1-0) while the Fighting Irish dropped to 12-2 (0-1) on the campaign.
The Pack was led by the play of its seniors. Dominique Wilson scored as team-best 18 points while Miah Spencer finished with 17. Jennifer Mathurin posted a double-double on the evening with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Notre Dame entered the game 47-1 overall in ACC regular season play in its history. NC State had not defeated a team ranked in the top-2 in the nation since knocking off top-ranked and undefeated Duke in the 2007 ACC Tournament.
"I couldn't be prouder of our kids," NC State head coach Wes Moore said. "That's a great team over there. I think I counted eight McDonald's All-Americans."
Leading by seven after one quarter, the Wolfpack withstood some early foul trouble to enter the locker room up 34-28 at halftime.
NC State used a 16-0 run to create some separation as the Irish went cold from the floor. Notre Dame shot 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) in the third quarter and the Wolfpack extended its lead to as many as 19 points before entering the final period ahead 57-40.
The six points Notre Dame scored in the third quarter was its lowest output of the season.
"We mainly focused on not turning the ball over because they have a good transition game," Spencer said. "That's how they score a majority of their points."
The Irish rallied to cut the deficit to five points with 1:31 remaining. Notre Dame's Marina Mabrey scored 11 of her team-high 22 in the fourth quarter. Chelsea Nelson and Spencer would both hit a pair of free throws to move the Pack's lead to nine with 43.9 second to go and NC State was never threatened again.
"I thought they deserved to win," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "They outhustled us. They outworked us. They threw some punches early and we did not respond."
Earlier in the non-conference season NC State had struggled with holding leads late. The win over the Irish symbolized what Moore hopes is growth from his team.
"A lot of people contributed," Moore said. "We got in some foul trouble, especially inside at the post position. It seemed like everyone we called on stepped up and did a good job."