Kody Burke scores 20 points, including final put-back basket to seal the win
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY – Kody Burke capped an outstanding game with a put-back layup with 13 seconds left to secure a 70-66 NC State women’s basketball victory over St. Bonaventure on Sunday afternoon at Reilly Center.
Leading by double figures most of the second half, and by as many as 18 points, NC State (8-5) held off a furious Bonnies comeback to become the first opposing team – men or women – to win at Reilly Center this season.
There was no rust to knock off today when the Pack took the court after a 10-day layoff that overlapped the Christmas Holiday.
NC State shot 53.6 percent (30-for-56) from the field, its fifth time this year breaking the 50-percent barrier. Burke was in fine form all game long, leading the Pack with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting and seven rebounds.
Marissa Kastanek and Krystal Barrett each had 12 points for the Wolfpack.
NC State led 65-48 after a layup from Barrett with 6:26 to play. From that point, the Pack turned the ball over seven times that allowed SBU to trim its deficit all the way down to 68-66 after an Ashley Zahn three-pointer with 20 seconds left.
Barrett was fouled on the next possession, and missed the front end of the one-and-one, but Burke pinched in and grabbed the ball and put it back in with her left hand for the game’s biggest play.
CeCe Dixon led all scorers with 23 points for St. Bonaventure (7-7). Zahn had 14 points, and Doris Ortega had 12 points for a club that made the NCAA Sweet 16 last season.
The Wolfpack opened the game by making eight of its first 11 shots to inch out to a 16-11 advantage. The balanced scoring saw seven different players make at least one bucket, including all five starters in the first six minutes.
The Bonnies took advantage of three NC State turnovers to tie the game at 18-all after a three-pointer from Dixon at the 9:38 mark of the opening half.
Burke and Kastanek combined for 14 points after Dixon tied the game, putting the Wolfpack back into the driver’s seat going into halftime up 39-24.
Burke was a matchup nightmare for SBU. At 6-2, she was able to move around at will and scored in a variety of ways including an old-fashioned three-point play, a put back off a missed free throw and a 17-foot jumper in the opening half.
Meanwhile, Kastanek displayed her inside-outside game to tie Burke for team-high honors with nine points in the opening 20 minutes. She was fouled driving to the hoop and made both free throws. Later she drilled a wide-open three-pointer and then cut to the basket for her final bucket of the half.
Kastanek made two shots from distance to tie for third in program history with 194 career three’s.
State shot 54.7 percent (17-of-31) in the opening stanza, while St. Bona struggled to just 32.1 percent (9-of-28). The Pack also enjoyed a 25-12 rebound advantage.
NC State hosts No. 4 Duke on Thursday at 7 p.m., on ESPN3.