No. 18 NC State pulls away to topple No. 8 Maryland

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State keeps leaving first-year coach Wes Moore searching for the right words.

Myisha Goodwin-Coleman scored all 16 of her points after halftime, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:51 left, to help the 18th-ranked Wolfpack beat No. 8 Maryland 72-63 on Thursday night.

It was the team's fourth win against a ranked opponent this season and its first home win against a top-10 opponent since beating then-No. 2 North Carolina in February 2007 -- which was the last season NC State was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 before this year.

"These kids just keep amazing me," said Moore, who had spent the previous 15 seasons at Chattanooga.

Markeisha Gatling added 15 points for the Wolfpack (19-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used Goodwin-Coleman's 3 to start an 11-2 run that broke a 57-all tie.

It marked NC State's first win against Maryland (16-4, 4-3) in four years.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet," Moore said. "We're halfway through the conference, and I love where we are. But this isn't going to get us where we want to get."

NC State shot 45 percent and finished with a 37-34 advantage on the boards against a team that was ranked third nationally in rebounding margin, with Kody Burke finishing with 10 rebounds and Gatling grabbing nine more.

Freshman Lexie Brown scored a season-high 20 points for the Terps, who have lost three straight for the first time since February 2010, according to STATS LLC. Maryland lost at Virginia last week, then rallied from 22 down to take a second-half lead before falling to No. 2 Notre Dame 87-83 on Monday.

"You take it one day at a time," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "Obviously we knew this was one of the most difficult stretches (on the schedule). ... It's going to make us better."

Two-time ACC player of the year Alyssa Thomas scored 18 points, although she went more than 11 minutes in the second half without a point while being guarded by 5-foot-5 guard Len'Nique Brown in a diamond-and-1 defense. Thomas' layup made it 53-44 with 12:21 left, but NC State answered with 11 straight points to erase the deficit and set up its clinching run.

Thomas, a 6-2 forward, didn't score again until getting a putback off an offensive rebound against the undersized Brown to cut the Wolfpack's lead to 68-61 with 31 seconds left. By that point, NC State fans were savoring a big win and chanting "ACC!" at Maryland in a jab at the Terps' departure for the Big Ten this summer.

Goodwin-Coleman missed all five of her shots in the first half before hitting three 3s and going 7-for-8 from the line after halftime.

"She's a clutch player," Len'Nique Brown said. "She's a scorer. You find her, and we can depend on her to score."

Lexie Brown had 16 points and four 3-pointers by halftime, but she and her Maryland teammates cooled off. The Terrapins shot 36 percent, including 0-for-14 from 3-point range, in the second half.

Maryland led by 10 in the first half and 38-33 at halftime.

"We really struggled in terms of being able to get anything off the bounce," Frese said. "We settled for a lot of jump shots instead of attacking the rim and being aggressive."