Marissa Kastanek’s game-high 24 points puts her over 1,500 career points
ATLANTA, GA – Marissa Kastanek reached 1,500 career points and Markeisha Gatling scored a season-high 17 points to send NC State racing past Georgia Tech, 78-66, at McCamish Pavilion on Sunday.
NC State (10-11, 2-7 ACC) found itself down 38-32 at halftime, but a 26-5 run to start the second half shoved the Wolfpack into the lead by 15, 58-43, after a three-point play from Kody Burke (17 points) with 8:19 to play.
Georgia Tech (8-12, 1-8 ACC) made a push with seven points in a span of 25 seconds to get within 61-52, but Krystal Barrett’s runner stymied the Yellow Jackets, and sparked a quick 11-1 spurt that put the Wolfpack comfortably ahead, 72-53 with 3:59 left.
Tech only made six field goals the entire second half, while NC State shot 63.3 percent (19-of-30) in the second stanza, by far its best effort in a half this season, and 53.4% for the game, its sixth time this year shooting above 50 percent.
Gatling was crucial to the win as well with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting as the Pack dominated in the paint to the tune of a 42-18 advantage. 32 fast-break points didn’t hurt either, compared to just two for the Jackets.
Kastanek matched her season high with 24 points set in the second game of the season against Auburn. The Lincoln, Neb., native was 9-of-14 shooting on her way to becoming only the 15th player in program history to compile 1,500 points. She also tied Burke for team-high honors with eight rebounds.
The win is the first for NC State in Atlanta since the 2005 season, snapping a three-game skid in road games against the Yellow Jackets.
An 11-3 run out of halftime gave NC State its first lead of the ball game, 43-41, on a Kiana Evans bucket with 15:20 on the clock. Conversely, Tech, who has now lost six straight, went over six minutes between field goals that allowed the Pack to take a lead it would never give back.
Georgia Tech jumped out to a 10-3 lead four minutes into action, and grew its advantage to as many as 11 points on three occasions, the last at the 3:33 mark after a jumper from Tyaunna Marshall (16 points).
Kastanek connected on her third three-pointer of the opening half to make it 36-28 Tech. State would put together a 7-2 run over the final 3:16 heading into halftime to trail by only six, 38-32, at the break.
State shot 43 percent (12-of-28) in the first half, while Georgia Tech connected at a 40-percent clip.
Sydney Wallace led the Jackets with 21 points.
NC State visits Boston College on Thursday at 7 p.m.