Rivers helps No. 5 North Carolina State beat Vanderbilt
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Saniya Rivers scored 22 points as No. 5 North Carolina State topped Vanderbilt 70-62 on Wednesday night in the ACC/SEC Challenge.
Rivers shot 8-of-14 from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds as the Wolfpack (8-0) remained unbeaten while handing the Commodores (7-1) their first defeat. River Baldwin added 12 points and nine rebounds for N.C. State, Aziaha James chipped in 14 points, and Zoe Brooks had 10 points, four assists and four steals.
Jordyn Cambridge powered Vanderbilt with 15 points, while Sacha Washington added 14 points and seven boards.
The Commodores kept things close in the first half and led by a point after Cambridge swished her third 3-pointer of the night with 7:42 remaining in the second quarter. But the Wolfpack then broke off an 11-0 run, punctuated by a 3-pointer from Rivers, to take a 10-point advantage.
N.C. State put more cushion between itself and Vanderbilt by outscoring the Commodores 19-10 in the third quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Brooks and James to start the fourth frame put the Wolfpack ahead by 24 points. Vanderbilt trimmed the deficit to eight points with about one minute to play, but never got any closer.
N.C. State: Defense has been the Wolfpack’s signature this season. Entering this game, opponents were making just 30.8% of their shots against N.C. State, which ranked fourth-best in the country. Against Vanderbilt, the Wolfpack remained stout on the defensive end, holding the Commodores to a season-low in points and a season-worst shooting percentage of 34.3%.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores entered this game with a 7-0 record, their best start to a season since 2011. But so far under third-year coach Shea Ralph, Vanderbilt has had trouble beating top-tier teams, as the Commodores are 1-11 now against ranked opponents under her watch. Vanderbilt should have the chance to put more tallies in the win column in December before SEC play begins.
N.C. State: Illinois State visits the Wolfpack on Sunday.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores host Louisiana Tech on Sunday.
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