Pack's Season Ends, Loses 74-54 to UCLA

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. - After a slow start UCLA closed out the first half strong and never looked back, beating NC State 74-54 to end the Wolfpack's season. This was the first time the Pack was in the NCAA Tournament since 2007.

Freshman Marissa Kastanek showed why she was the ACC Rookie of Year, leading the Wolfpack with 21 points. Senior Nikitta Gartrell had 13 points, while sophomore Bonae Holston added nine points.

The Pack's offense was never in sync, finishing the night shoot 33.3 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three.

UCLA shot 50.9 percent from the field. The Bruins also capitalized off of free throws making 14-15 (93.3 percent).

The Pack was outscored in the second half 48-29.

The Bruins had closed on a 10-0 run to end the first and give themselves a 26-25 lead. UCLA extended its run to 14-0 early in the second half before Kastanek responded with a layup to end the drought and make the score 30-27 in the Bruins favor.

With the Bruins lead ballooning to seven, Kastanek hit a big three to cut the deficit to 38-34. UCLA came back with a three-pointer of its own.

The Bruins kept driving to the basket and converting, increasing the lead to 48-37 with 10:59 remaining in the game.

Both teams might have been showing some nerves as the Pack were leading 4-2 after the first TV timeout. The offensive struggles continued for the Bruins as they had made just four of their first 16 shot attempts.

After missing her first three attempts, Kastanek finally connected on a three-pointer. On the next possession, sophomore Bonae Holston stole the ball at midcourt and made a layup to extend to lead to 9-4.

Gartrell carried the Wolfpack early, scoring 10 of the first 19 points. Her free throw with 7:38 left in the first half extended the Pack's lead to nine.

Kastanek's layup maintained the Pack's nine-point lead at 25-16. Unfortunately the Bruins closed on a 10-0 run including five points in the final 35 seconds to take the 26-25 lead at the half.

The Wolfpack missed some open looks in the first half, shooting 9-27 (33.3 percent) from the field, while the Bruins were 12-29 (41.4 percent).

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