Princeton women top NC State 64-63 in March Madness opener

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

SALT LAKE CITY – Grace Stone is making a habit of game-winning jumpers for the streaking Princeton Tigers.

“She’s got ice in her veins. She has that look in her eyes and you know she’s gonna make a play. She’s gonna hit a shot,” Princeton coach Carla Berube said.

Stone scored 22 points, including her fifth 3-pointer of the game with 4.7 seconds remaining, to lift 10th-seeded Princeton to a thrilling 64-63 win over North Carolina State in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

“That’s a shot I’ve taken in a game before and my teammates have all the confidence in the world in me,” said Stone, who hit game-winners against Columbia and Rhode Island earlier this season.

Kaitlyn Chen, who also scored 22 points, made a 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 63-61 and then Madison St. Rose and Stone both came up with steals in the final minute to give the Tigers a chance.

On North Carolina State’s final possession, the Tigers created chaos – as they had done all game long – and knocked the ball loose to prevent the seventh-seeded Wolfpack from getting a shot off.

St. Rose “got her hand on the ball and then I think everybody dove on the ball,” Berube said, who was then drenched by a “water party “ in the locker room and conducted her press conference all wet.

The Tigers (24-5), who held the Wolfpack scoreless for the final 5:43 of the game, ran to the center of the court screaming for jubilation at their unlikely victory.

It’s the second straight season that Princeton has won a first-round game. The Tigers beat Kentucky last season before falling to Indiana in the second round by a point.

The Tigers’ men’s and women’s teams are the first Ivy League duo to both advance in the NCAA Tournament after the men’s team upset second-seeded Arizona on Thursday.

“We watched that game and looked at each other and said, ‘All right, we’re next. It’s our turn,’” said Julia Cunningham, who had 14 points and eight assists for the Tigers.

Mimi Collins scored 14 points and Madison Hayes and Jaki Brown-Turner each had 10 points but the Wolfpack missed their final five shots and had five turnovers down the stretch.

“We got the shots that we wanted. Some of them rimmed in and out. They’re defense was good, but I feel like … our shots just weren’t falling,” Collins said.

Aziaha James was the catalyst in pushing the Wolfpack’s (20-12) lead to 63-55 with a steal and back-to-back layups with 5:44 to play but they didn’t score again.

“It’s a tough loss. Heartbreaking,” North Carolina State coach Wes Moore said.

The Tigers scored the first 10 points of the third quarter but then went cold against the Wolfpack’s defensive pressure. North Carolina State regained the lead 55-51 by forcing 12 straight misses from Princeton over the final 6:52 of the period.

“We’ve gone through stretches where we’ve struggled to score and we know that our defense is going to keep us in games,” Stone said and cited their motto – ‘Defense Travels!’

The Wolfpack started the game missing point guard and leading scorer Diamond Johnson, who has an ankle injury that has been hobbling her for weeks. They seemed out of sorts and missed their first seven shots.

To make matters worse, her backup James, who got the start, suffered a lower leg injury with 9:21 left in the second quarter and had to be helped off the court. She later returned to spark North Carolina State.

But the Wolfpack used their physical advantage inside to stake a 41-35 halftime lead on the strength of post players Collins and Hayes both scoring 10 points off the bench in the first half.

The Tigers have now won 16 in a row heading into a matchup with host Utah (the second seed) on Sunday afternoon.

“Wow! Just so thrilled with that win. I mean, that’s what it’s all about,” Berube said as the Tigers advanced. “Now we just need to take that next step.”


Princeton: The Tigers used defense when their offense sputtered and came up big when it mattered most. The Tigers only allowed 52.5 points a game this year and their tenacity won the day even when they got down by eight points.

NC State: The Wolfpack arrived with their lowest seed since 2016-17 but seemed to have the talent and strength to control the game. But the Wolfpack couldn’t get clean looks when the Tigers got desperate and disruptive.

Kalkbrenner leads Creighton past NC State in March Madness

Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

DENVER – Ryan Kalkbrenner scored a career-high 31 points and sixth-seeded Creighton overcame an abysmal 3-point shooting day to fend off No. 11 seed North Carolina State 72-63 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner did a little bit of everything for the Bluejays, which included hitting a big 3-pointer on a day the team finished 3 of 20 from long range.

The slender Kalkbrenner had six dunks and 10 rebounds, and North Carolina State big men D.J. Burns Jr. and Ebenezer Dowuona were hampered by foul trouble.

Next up for the Bluejays (22-12) is third-seeded Baylor in the second round in the South Region. The Bears beat Santa Barbara in the early game.

Leading 62-59, Baylor Scheierman drained a 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining to give Creighton some separation. A pair of free throws for Kalkbrenner, a block by Trey Alexander and another basket from Scheierman – complete with blowing the crowd a kiss – and the Bluejays were on their way to a hard-earned win.

Terquavion Smith led the Wolfpack (23-11) with 32 points. The team started slow, going 0 for 8 from the field to open the game, and never found its rhythm from deep. It was 3 for 14 from 3-point range.

It’s been quite a turnaround for a North Carolina State team that went 11-21 last season.


Creighton forward Mason Miller, the son of longtime NBA player Mike Miller, left the game in the first half after hurting his right ankle.


Burns released a single titled “Beast Boy” before the game. The track reflects on his drive on the court along with giving a shoutout to his teammates. Burns had two points and four rebounds.


The Bluejays faced Baylor in their second game of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Bears won 85-55.

Tyree Appleby is Wake Forest’s 2nd straight ACC AP Player of the Year

William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest guard Tyree Appleby is The Associated Press men’s player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the second straight season a Demon Deacons player took the honor after Alondes Williams earned it a year ago.

Pitt coach Jeff Capel was named coach of the year and Duke freshman Kyle Filipowski was named newcomer of the year.

Appleby, a 6-foot grad transfer guard from Florida, led the ACC with in scoring at 18.8 points a game and assists at 6.2 per contest. He was second in ACC steals.

Appleby received seven votes for player of the year from the 15 journalists who cover the ACC. Appleby finished ahead of Miami’s Isaiah Wong (four), North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (two), and Filipowski and Clemson’s Hunter Tyson, who each received a vote.

Appleby came to Wake Forest this past offseason and helped the team go 18-13 and win 10 games in ACC play.

Capel’s future at Pitt was clearly in doubt when the season began after four straight losing seasons. But the Panthers turned things around this season, going 21-10 and 14-6 against league opponents. Pitt will be the fifth seed in this week’s ACC Tournament.

Capel received 11 votes from panel while Miami coach Jim Larranaga picked up the other three. One voter abstained.

Filipowski, the Blue Devils’ 7-foot freshman, averaged 15 points and 9.2 rebounds this season. He received nine votes from the panel with Appleby getting four and North Carolina State’s Jarkel Joiner the other two.

The rest of the AP’s first team included Wake Forest’s Appleby, North Carolina’s Bacot and Duke’s Filipowski.


Isaiah Wong, Miami, 6-4, 185, Jr., Piscataway, New Jersey.

Tyree Appleby, Wake Forest, 6-0, 175, Gr., Jacksonville, Arkansas.

Terquavion Smith, North Carolina State, 6-4, 165, So., Greenville, North Carolina.

Armando Bacot, North Carolina, 6-10, 240, Sr.., Richmond, Virginia.

Kyle Filipowski, Duke, 7-0, 230, Fr., Westtown, New York.


Norchad Omier, Miami, 6-7, 248, So., Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Jarkel Joiner, North Carolina State, 6-1, 180, Gr., Oxford, Mississippi.

Hunter Tyson, Clemson, 6-8, 217, Gr., Monroe, North Carolina.

Jamaruius Burton, Pitt, 6-4, 200, Gr., Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kihei Clark, Virginia, 5-10, 167, Gr., Woodland Hills, California.

Coach of the year – Jeff Capel, Pitt

Player of the year – Tyree Appleby, Wake Forest

Newcomer of the year – Kyle Filipowski, Duke

AP All-ACC voting panel: Mike Barber, The Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch; Mark Berman, The Roanoke (Virginia) Times; Rick Bozich, WDRB-TV, Louisville, Kentucky; C.L. Brown, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, North Carolina; Jordan Crammer, WNCN CBS 17, Raleigh, North Carolina; Donna Ditota, The Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York; Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Chapel Fowler, The State of Columbia, South Carolina; Ehsan Kassim, Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, Florida; Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald; Kevin McNamara, WPRO, Providence, Rhode Island; Tom Noie, South Bend (Indiana) Tribune; Ken Sugiura, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Lauren Walsh, WXII-TV, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Steve Wiseman, The Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina.

Duke beats N.C. State for fifth consecutive win, 71-67

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

DURHAM, N.C. – Jeremy Roach scored 20 points and helped Duke hold off North Carolina State in a 71-67 victory on Tuesday night to win its fifth straight game and complete a 16-0 home schedule.

Tyrese Proctor added 12 points, going 8 of 9 at the line, including four in the final 18 seconds to put the game away for Duke (22-8, 13-6). Kyle Filipowski scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds for the freshman’s 13th double-double. Mark Mitchell scored 12 points and Dereck Lively II grabbed 12 rebounds.

Jarkel Joiner led the Wolfpack (22-9, 12-8) with 26 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and went over 2,000 points for his career. Casey Morsell and D.J. Burns scored 13 points each. Terquavion Smith, who along with Joiner averages over 17 points a game and scored 24 points in the Wolfpack’s 84-60 win over the Blue Devils on Jan. 4, finished with eight.

Roach scored 12 points over the final 13 1/2 minutes with his consecutive baskets giving Duke a 12-point edge with two minutes to go.

N.C. State made a final push and got within three with 32 seconds left after Joiner hit consecutive 3-pointers. Proctor made four free throws around a missed 3 by Joiner. Smith’s 3 at the end made it a four-point margin.

Duke made just 2 of 19 3-point attempts but shot 21 of 36 inside the arc and made 23 of 29 free throws to only 7 of 8 for the Wolfpack.

The Blue Devils led 33-29 at halftime, taking the lead for good after a 9-0 run that Lively capped with a bucket with six minutes remaining before the break.

Duke finishes the regular season at North Carolina on Saturday. N.C. State has completed its regular season and is off until the ACC Tournament, which begins next Tuesday.

Jarkel Joiner, No. 23 NC State pull away late to beat rival UNC

Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
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RALEIGH, N.C. – DJ Burns Jr. knew North Carolina State teammate Jarkel Joiner was ready for a big moment.

“He came out of a timeout, he looked me dead in my face and he said, `Set me some ballscreens, I’m hot,”‘ Burns said.

Joiner backed it up, too.

The graduate transfer took over for No. 23 N.C. State during a critical second-half stretch, matching his season high with 29 points to lead the Wolfpack past rival North Carolina 77-69.

Joiner had 20 of his points after the break for the Wolfpack (21-7, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). That included an impressive flurry in a tight game that finally gave N.C. State some breathing room that turned into a strong finishing kick.

“Just confidence, man,” Joiner said of his big second half. “My teammates and my coaches trust in me.”

Joiner’s arrival from Mississippi has been a critical piece to Kevin Keatts’ sixth-season surge, providing scoring and heady veteran play for a team needing an infusion of experience. It’s why N.C. State (21-7, 11-6) has bounced back from last year’s 21-loss season and took Round 2 with the Tar Heels (16-11, 8-8) after losing last month’s meeting in nearby Chapel Hill.

“It’s tough in this league when you don’t have a quarterback, when you don’t have a point guard,” Keatts said. “And he makes us better.”

The Tar Heels didn’t have an answer for him, with Joiner making 8 of 11 shots after the break. That included a huge transition 3-pointer from right in front of the Wolfpack bench – which pushed N.C. State to a 67-60 lead with 4:47 left, the largest lead by any team to that point.

He followed a bit later with a tough stepback jumper against Caleb Love that pushed the lead to nine, capping a 12-1 that had given the Wolfpack control and turned PNC Arena into a screaming frenzy of unleashed rivalry spite from the Wolfpack crowd.

Burns added 14 of his 18 points after halftime for N.C. State, which shot 64.5% in the second half and had just three turnovers for the game.

Love scored 20 points to lead UNC, while Armando Bacot had 16 points and 14 rebounds. But the Tar Heels continued a February crash that has put their NCAA Tournament chances in growing jeopardy, falling for the fifth time in six games after shooting just 35.5%.

“They got hot, Joiner got hot, and it kind of erupted the crowd,” Love said. “Playing in a place like this, it’s tough. you’ve got to execute at the highest level and we didn’t do that.”


UNC: The Tar Heels have gone from preseason No. 1 in the AP Top 25 to scrapping for an NCAA bid. They entered Sunday with an 0-8 record in Quadrant 1 games, the top tier on a postseason resume. This one could’ve helped, but it instead ended with Wolfpack fans chanting at them in the final seconds: “NIT! NIT!”

“Coach (Hubert) Davis said he’s not giving up on us and we’re going to continue to battle,” said R.J. Davis, who had seven points on 2-for-13 shooting. “I mean, that’s the only thing you can do right now.”

N.C. State: In the AP Top 25 for the first time in four years, Keatts’ squad is pursuing its first NCAA berth since 2018. Sunday was about staying on that track and, of course, beating a rival that has largely owned the series of late by winning 36 of 41 meetings entering Sunday.


The Wolfpack eventually went up 75-63 when Ernest Ross ran down a long pass ahead and saved it behind him to a trailing Casey Morsell for a layup that elevated the ear-ringing noise even more with only 89 seconds left.

The Tar Heels called timeout, and N.C. State players began to celebrate, with Terquavion Smith walking near the baseline with arms raised to motion for more noise from courtside fans. Burns stood a few feet away, popping the front of his jersey to the roaring fans in the end zone.


UNC: At Notre Dame on Wednesday.

N.C. State: Hosting Wake Forest on Wednesday.

Gardner, Beekman lift No. 8 Virginia past No. 22 N.C. State

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia coach Tony Bennett had a simple message for his team after a poor defensive performance in a loss at Virginia Tech.

“Talk is cheap. Do it. Show us, to our players, to us as a staff, show up, work in practice, step to between the lines and don’t lose yourself in anything but what your job is,” Bennett said he told his players and assistants in the two days of practice since the 74-68 loss.

The team clearly got the message.

Jayden Gardner scored 18 points, Reece Beekman added 15 and No. 8 Virginia cooled off red-hot No. 22 North Carolina State 63-50 on Tuesday night.

“We had a great two days before State, you know, preparation and just diving in,” Gardner said. “It’s just this is the time of the season we need to lock in and you know, we’re playing for something. … We’re trying to win a championship.”

The Cavaliers (18-4, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) handed the Wolfpack (19-6, 9-5) their second loss in 10 games and moved into a share of first place in the conference with Clemson and Pittsburgh.

The Wolfpack arrived leading the ACC with an average of 79.6 points and were 19-2 when scoring at least 70, but became the 38th consecutive league opponent held below 70 points at John Paul Jones Arena.

“Obviously, as I watched the Virginia Tech game and knew that those guys dropped the game and, you know, any time you’re going to play a very good defensive team on their home floor, you know you’re going to get that energy,” North Carolina State coach Kevin Keatts said.

Terquavion Smith led N.C. State with 19 points and Casey Morsell, who spent his first two seasons at Virginia and was jeered nearly every time he touched the ball in his first game back, had 18 points before fouling out in the final minute.

Jarkel Joiner, the Wolfpack’s No. 2 scorer at 16.2 points per game, missed 12 of his 14 shots and scored five points. D.J. Burns Jr. (eight points) was the only other Wolfpack player to score.

Reserve forward Kadin Shedrick, who did not play in Virginia’s loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday, had 10 points and six rebounds for the Cavaliers.

Virginia scored the first six points of the second half to open its largest lead at 40-20, but the Wolfpack began whittling away, fueled by a 12-6 burst in which Smith and Morsell each hit a pair of 3-pointers.

“In the past, we’ve been able to control the tempo and to get those guys to play a little bit faster and even turn them over,” said Keatts, whose team had won three of the last four meetings. “But we couldn’t.”

N.C. State twice closed within nine points but got no closer. Morsell’s 3 made it 55-46 with 3:46 to play, but Beekman made a free throw and then took a no-look pass from Kihei Clark for an easy backdoor layup.

Virginia closed the first half on an 8-2 run to lead 34-20 at the break. The Wolfpack missed 10 straight shots before Burns scored just before the half.


N.C. State: The Wolfpack got scoring from just three players – Smith with nine points, Morsell with seven and Burns with four – in the opening half. They shot 25.8% with Smith going 4 for 13 and Joiner 0 for 6. … Burns picked up his third personal foul less than a minute into the second half after getting the ball stolen by Beekman. He stayed in the game and drew his fourth foul on a drive by Clark with 16:03 left.

Virginia: Beekman started the game ranking first in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio (3.0) and third in assists (5.1). He had four assists and one turnover. Clark started first in assists (6.0) and second in assist/turnover ratio (2.8). He had six assists and three turnovers.


N.C. State: At Boston College on Saturday.

Virginia: Hosts Duke on Saturday.