RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Elissa Cunane scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as No. 9 North Carolina State overcame a sluggish opening three quarters to defeat Elon 62-49 on Sunday and stay undefeated.
The Wolfpack improved to 10-0 after struggling for most of the game and leading by only three points with six minutes remaining. Kayla Jones added 12 points and Aislinn Konig scored 10 for N.C. State.
Brie Perpignan led Elon with 10 points as the Phoenix (3-5) gave N.C. State all it could handle in the Wolfpack’s first game in 10 days.
N.C. State did a lot of things wrong for the first three quarters, and Elon capitalized on the Wolfpack’s errors. Shooting 15 of 30 from the free-throw line and 21 of 58 from the field (19.2%) kept N.C. State from opening a significant lead against a gritty, determined opponent.
But with the Wolfpack ahead by just five points, Konig made a 3-pointer as Elon coach Charlotte Smith was called for a technical foul with 4:17 remaining in the game. Konig made the second of the two technical free throws to extend the lead to 52-43.
Cunane’s scoring and rebounding proved to be too much for the undersized Phoenix to match. She went 9 of 15 from the field on a day when most of her teammates struggled.
Elon: Defense is the Phoenix’s strength, as the team demonstrated by forcing N.C. State to miss 31 of its first 46 field-goal attempts. But Elon just doesn’t quite have the scoring ability to knock off a top-10 team on the road.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack’s attention to detail left something to be desired. But the lackluster effort wasn’t entirely a surprise after a 10-day break for final exams following a high-intensity win over then-No. 9 Maryland on Dec. 5.
Elon: Meets Newberry on Tuesday and Coastal Carolina on Thursday in the Carolina Invitational at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.