COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Raina Perez made a 3-pointer with 3:07 left that put No. 8 North Carolina State ahead to stay and the Wolfpack ended No. 1 South Carolina’s 29-game winning streak with a 54-46 victory Thursday night.
The Wolfpack (3-0) beat a top-ranked opponent for the first time since knocking off Duke in the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
South Carolina (3-1) lost for the first time since falling to Indiana on Nov. 28, 2019, and the first time at home since a 68-64 loss to Mississippi State in the regular-season finale two seasons ago.
The Gamecocks were ice-cold throughout, shooting 28% from the field.
Kayla Jones led North Carolina State with 16 points, Elissa Cunane added 14 points, five rebounds and four blocks, and Perez finished with 11 points.
Cunane made two foul shots to put the Wolfpack ahead 48-44 with less than two minutes left. But Zia Cooke’s steal and layup drew South Carolina within a basket with 53.4 seconds to go. After a timeout, the Wolfpack worked the ball around to a wide-open Jones for a 3-pointer.
When LeLe Grissett was called for a charge on the next possession, the celebration was underway with 15 seconds left.
Cooke and Laeticia Amihere led the Gamecocks with 11 points apiece. Amihere also had 15 rebounds.
Both teams locked in on defense in the opening half, making it a defensive struggle to find points.
The Wolfpack shot 25%, but that was better than South Carolina, which was 8 of 37 and missed 14 consecutive shots.
THE BIG PICTURE
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack packed the middle against the get-out-and-run Gamecocks and it worked as they held South Carolina to a season-low 28% shooting.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have been tested deep into their past three ball games and have yet to establish themselves as the dominant, relentless team they were a year ago.
North Carolina State: Hosts Coastal Carolina on Sunday.
South Carolina: At No. 23 Iowa State on Sunday.
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