“It was a great feeling, honestly,” Hobby said. “I waited my turn to have the opportunity to start and to run out to all the fans cheering.”
Jessica Timmons also had 10 points, and South Carolina transfer Saniya Rivers tallied nine points and two assists in her N.C. State debut.
Quinnipiac was led by Cur’Tiera Haywood’s eight points and five rebounds. Jackie Grisdale also had eight points for the Bobcats.
The Wolfpack broke off a 13-0 run to close the second quarter, taking a 28-point lead into halftime.
“We have a lot of new players and a lot of new roles that are still a work-in-progress defining,” Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. “I like the way we came out and took control early.”
After missing their first 11 attempts from behind the arc, the Bobcats opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run, making four straight shots from 3-point land. The hole Quinnipiac dug itself proved to be too deep though and it never trimmed the deficit to single digits.
“I would have loved to have a couple more shots go down early for us, because I thought we were really hanging around defensively,” Bobcats coach Tricia Fabbri said. “I hate the final score. I thought in the second half we settled in and we understood a little bit more what we were trying to do offensively.”
N.C. State used a 26-13 run to pull away in the fourth quarter – a stretch in which Timmons scored all of her points.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack graduated four starters from last season’s team that won the ACC for the third straight year and went to the Elite Eight. Boosted by a trio of transfers, N.C. State picked up where it left off and handily controlled this game. The Wolfpack won big despite two key returners – preseason All-ACC selections Diamond Johnson and Jakia Brown-Turner – not shooting all that well, making a combined 4-of-18 shots.
Quinnipiac: The Bobcats played this game without fifth-year guard Mackenzie DeWees, who was out nursing an injury. Her averages last season of 13.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game likely wouldn’t have made a difference against the Wolfpack, but DeWees should help Quinnipiac be more competitive in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, where they went 14-6 last season.
Despite the lopsided margin on the scoreboard, Fabbri sees real value in playing games against ranked opponents for the Bobcats.
“It’s a great atmosphere. This is a veteran team and we wanted to be down here playing,” Fabbri said. “This is how we’ve gotten into the NCAA Tournament and won games with these seeds.”
Fabbri, now in her 28th season as Quinnipiac’s coach, has taken the Bobcats to five NCAA Tournaments since 2013.