AUSTIN, Texas – Junior Brooke McCarty led the way for the Longhorns with 23 points as No. 14/15 Texas Women’s Basketball (25-8) defeated No. 17/17 NC State (23-9) in the NCAA Second Round inside the Erwin Center on Sunday afternoon, 84-80.
With the win, No. 3 seed Texas now holds a 40-23 mark all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including an 8-3 mark under head coach Karen Aston.
The Horns lead the all-time series over the Wolfpack, 6-1.
“I was really proud of our young kids and the way they responded,” said Aston. “Everybody that came in gave us something.”
McCarty’s 23 points included a 3-7 effort from beyond the arc, moving her into sixth place all-time at Texas for three-pointers made with 181. Freshman Joyner Holmes was one shy of her ninth career double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Lashann Higgs and freshman Sug Sutton rounded out the Horns in double-digits with 12 and 10, respectively. Sutton added to her line with a game-high three assists.
Senior Kelsey Lang totaled six points and seven bounds. She swatted away a career-high six blocks, moving her into sixth place all-time in blocks at Texas with 186.
As a team, Texas shot 45.5 percent (30-66) from the floor and 82.6 percent (19-23) from the stripe. NC State managed a 44.8 shooting percentage (26-58) from the field and an 89.7 shooting percentage (26-29) from the line.
No. 6 seed NC State was led by senior Miah Spencer with a career-high 31 points.
After the game tied at 12 apiece, Texas fired off an 8-0 run to lead 20-12 at the 2:48 mark of the first. The Horns, shooting at a 76.9 percentage, only allowed three Wolfpack points from there to end the quarter, 28-15.
NC State outscored the Longhorns, 21-9 in the second frame. After a Wolfpack layup evened the match at 34 with 1:59 remaining in the half, it was Texas who held the 37-36 lead headed into the locker rooms.
NC State captured its first lead of the game (40-39) after a layup at the 8:17 mark of the third and added an 11-0 rally in the middle of the stanza to go up by eight (47-39). The Wolfpack stayed in control, but Holmes dropped just her second triple of the season to cut the margin to 66-50 NC State through three quarters.
Texas found its strength from the line in the fourth, knocking down 11-12 free throws. After he Horns managed a 9-4 stretch to even it at 64, NC State fired off four straight points and held onto the lead until two free throws from junior Ariel Atkins made it 76-75 Texas with 1:33 on the clock.
The teams traded free throws and a steal and layup from Atkins put the Horns on top by three (81-78) with 55 seconds left. Two Wolfpack free throws made it a one-point game, but a Higgs free throw coupled with a Holmes layup punched Texas’s ticket to the Sweet Sixteen, 84-80.
Up next, the Longhorns will travel to Lexington, Ky. to compete in their their third consecutive NCAA Sweet 16. Texas will play the winner of tomorrow’s contest between No. 7 seed Kansas State and No. 2 seed Stanford on March 24 in the Lexington Regional.