Carlee Schumacher went big when N.C. State needed it.
N.C. State’s junior center scored eight of her 18 points during a 3-minute, 15-second span in the second half Tuesday to lift the Wolfpack to a 70-63 win against Charlotte at Halton Arena. Schumacher’s effort lifted N.C. State’s 53-52 deficit to a 61-56 lead the Wolfpack (3-0) wouldn’t relinquish.
“We were down and we needed a spark to pick us up,” said Schumacher, who made 5 of 11 shots and all eight free throws. “All I know is coach (Wes Moore) said ‘Carlee, get big and put the ball in the bucket.’ I said OK.”
Schumacher didn’t carry N.C. State by herself, though. Three others hit double digits, paced by Miah Spencer’s 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, to go with Dominique Wilson’s 12 and Len’Nique Brown’s 10.
Charlotte (1-1) got 27 points from senior guard Hillary Sigmon, who made 9 of 14 shots.
“Obviously, it’s always disappointing to lose a game at home, which we take a lot of pride in,” 49ers coach Cara Consuegra said. “But I do think there were a lot of positives that came out of this. The No. 1 thing I saw out of my team was we had great fight.”
Charlotte gave N.C. State all it could handle, cutting a 65-56 deficit with 4:34 left to a pair on Alexis Alexander’s layup with 1:36 remaining, but the Wolfpack responded with the final five points to seal the game.
“This is our third game in five days, which is probably not very smart scheduling on my part,” Moore said. “But the kids hung in there, especially to go on the road after a stretch like that. Charlotte is good and they’ve got a great program. It was a tough win and we’re fortunate to be getting out of here with it.”
N.C. State forged a 42-36 halftime advantage by converting 11 Charlotte turnovers into 15 points, compared to the 49ers’ four off six Wolfpack miscues.
N.C. State, which led by as many as 10 points, connected on 53.6 percent of its shots (15 of 28) with Spencer leading the way with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Charlotte led once in the first half despite knocking down 50 percent (13-of-26) of its shots.
Sigmon produced a perfect half of shooting for the 49ers, going 6-of-6 (3-for-3 beyond the arc) for 17 points.