Fifth-seeded NC State women upset by BYU

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm •  Published: March 22, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Once again, North Carolina State is headed home after the first round of the NCAA women's tournament.

Lexi Eaton scored 25 points, Jennifer Hamson finished one block shy of a triple-double and 12th seeded BYU upset the No. 5 Wolfpack 72-57 in the first round of the Lincoln regional on Saturday.

N.C. State (25-8) lost in the first round for the fourth time in its last five tournament appearances, and hasn't won a tournament game since 2007.

"It's going to hurt for a while," first-year Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. "It's a tough way to end. Maybe in a few weeks we'll be able to look back at the big picture and remember all the success."

NC State trailed by seven at halftime and never could take the lead in the second half. The Wolfpack shot a season-worst 27.4 percent from the field in its second-lowest scoring output of the season.

"I can't really describe it," center Markeisha Gatling said tearfully. "It just hurts."

Gatling, a first-team All-ACC selection, finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Miah Spencer led the team with 16 points and Len'nique Brown had 10 points and five assists.

Hamson, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, scored 12 points — all in the second half — and tied her career-highs with 19 rebounds and nine blocks.

Led by the 6-foot-7 senior center, the Cougars (27-6) outrebounded N.C. State 52-37 and blocked 15 shots.

Eaton added eight rebounds and four assists, Morgan Bradley added 13 points and 12 rebounds and Kylie Maeda scored 14 points for BYU as well

"Hamson creates some situations maybe you're not used to seeing," Moore said. "If you double her they got a lot of kids around her who can knock down shots, which we found out."

The Cougars won for the 11th time in their last 12 games and picked up their first tournament win since 2006. They will face fourth-seeded Nebraska in the second round on Monday at Pauley Pavilion on UCLA's campus.