NC State rides fourth-quarter rally to key win over Louisville

NC State is one of four Sweet 16-bound women's teams who will wear warmup shirts in honor of the initiative. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Fourth-ranked NC State was down but not out Thursday, taking down No. 3 Louisville 68-59 after a massive fourth quarter comeback.

The Wolfpack were down by 14 entering the fourth quarter, having trailed throughout the game. But in the final 10 minutes, NC State scored 31 points, almost as many as they scored in the first 30 minutes (37). They shot an astounding 78.6 percent and knocked down 5-of-6 threes in the final frame.

According to ESPN, it’s the fourth-largest fourth-quarter comeback this season.

It’s also the Wolfpack’s second win over a top 3 team this season after they took down then-No. 2 Maryland in November.

“We started hitting shots, we started getting some stops, got a couple of turnovers off the press that I really thought got the crowd into it,” NC State coach Wes Moore said postgame. “It’s a great, great win for our program. I just have so much respect for Louisville. They came in with that 1-3-1 zone and we had some trouble with it.”

Guard Diamond Johnson led the Wolfpack with 16 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter. She added six rebounds and three assists. Elissa Cunane and Jakia Brown-Turner had 15 and 14 points respectively, while Cunane added 12 rebounds for the double-double.

“We never lost confidence,” Johnson said. “We never stopped shooting.”

Olivia Cochran led Louisville with 19 points and seven rebounds. Emily Engstler added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The two teams don’t meet again in the regular season but could meet up in the ACC Tournament. Last season, the two teams met in the championship game, where NC State won 58-56.