GREENSBORO Marissa Kastanek wasn’t going to let her N.C. State career end just yet.
Kody Burke led the way with 16 points and Kastanek added 14, leading the Wolfpack to a 56-45 comeback win over upset-minded Clemson in Thursday’s first round of the ACC women’s basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.
The No. 8 seed Wolfpack (16-15) will take on top-seeded Duke (27-2) in quarterfinal action at 2 p.m. Friday. It will be the second year in a row the Wolfpack has played Duke in the second round. Last season, N.C. State shocked the top-seeded Blue Devils 75-73.
“We’re excited to be moving on,” said fourth-year Wolfpack coach Kellie Harper, who has never lost a first-round ACC tournament game. “It doesn’t have to be pretty. All that matters is that we had more points than them at the end of the game and we get to play tomorrow.
“It’s really important for our players to understand that it’s a great team win. Clemson came in fighting and we knew that was going to happen. It’s tournament time and records are 0-0. I thought we were a little tight on the offensive end.”
Nikki Dixon led the No. 9 seed Tigers (9-21) with 11 points. Quinyotta Pettaway chipped in nine points and nine rebounds.
“I think both teams played extremely hard today,” said Clemson coach Itoro Coleman, whose team dressed only eight players and had not had more than that since November.
“The Wolfpack won both of the teams’ regular-season meetings, 79-45 on Feb. 10 at Reynolds Coliseum and 63-47 on Sunday at Clemson.
Clemson, which hasn’t won an ACC tournament game since 2009, led by as many as eight points in the first half, taking a 29-26 lead into the locker room.
N.C. State trailed 44-40 with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left before going on a 16-1 run to end the game. Kastanek’s 3-pointer with 2:58 to go gave the Wolfpack a 47-44 lead that it never relinquished.
Miami 45, Virginia Tech 39: Shawnice Wilson scored 17 points and the Hurricanes (21-9) pulled away to beat the Hokies (10-20).
Wake Forest 86, Georgia Tech 67: Lakevia Boykin scored 21 points to help the Deacons (13-18) upset the Yellow Jackets (14-16). Associated Press