No. 4 NC State routs Elon in last tuneup before ACC opener

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Elissa Cunane had 22 points and 13 rebounds in three quarters in No. 4 North Carolina State’s 76-47 victory over Elon on Wednesday night.

Cunane was 9 for 11 from the field for N.C. State (5-0). Kayla Jones and Jakia Brown-Turner each added 12 points.

This was the Wolfpack’s final tuneup before Atlantic Coast Conference play. The team has received a certain message from coach Wes Moore.

“Don’t worry about the ranking,” Brown-Turner said. “We just have to go out and play our game. Coach Moore doesn’t let us get big-headed at all.”

The Wolfpack used a 10-0 second-quarter spurt for a 31-20 lead. N.C. State scored 13 points in the last three minutes of the first half for a 44-28 edge at the break.

Brie Perpignan had 11 points for Elon (2-1). It has faced an in-state opponent on the road in each of its games.

Cunane had 11 points by early in the second quarter, helping combat the impact of N.C. State’s eight first-quarter turnovers. She had a double-double by midway through the second quarter. She averaged a double-double during the 2019-20 regular season.

“It felt good to finally get that done,” Cunane said. “It has been great these past games where I haven’t had to be the major (producer) for the team. I haven’t had to get a double-double yet and we’ve still been winning games.”

Four different players have led the Wolfpack in scoring across the first five games.

“When one person isn’t able to produce, we’re going to have someone able to step up,” Cunane said.

N.C. State shot 55.6% in the first half, with Elon at 31.3%.

The Wolfpack played a second game in a row without senior point guard Kai Crutchfield. She injured a foot in last week’s upset at then-No. 1 South Carolina.

BIG PICTURE

Elon: Early success on offense faded for the Phoenix. It shot 27.9% from the field, including 6 of 27 on 3-pointers.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack has won 40 consecutive non-conference home games. This is the third year in a row that N.C. State has completed non-league play without a loss.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

N.C. State, which rose from the No. 8 spot in this week’s poll, has been ranked as high as No. 4 in back-to-back seasons. This result should allow the Wolfpack to maintain that status.

PLAY ON

N.C. State’s men’s basketball team went on pause Wednesday after a couple of positive coronavirus cases within the program. The women’s team has played on every scheduled date so far.

“I think we’re doing a pretty good job,” Moore said. “(Team members) are being tested a lot. We’re trying to encourage them to stay safe as much as we can.”

Brown-Turner said: “I’m just happy that we’re able to keep playing. It’s just a blessing to be out there playing every day.”

LEAGUE PLAY LOOMS

N.C. State won last March’s ACC Tournament championship and hopes to carry that success into the new regular season of conference play.

“Hopefully these five games have helped prepare us, but still a long ways to go,” Moore said. “… We’ll be trying to clean this stuff up and be ready to go Sunday.”

The Wolfpack each non-league home game by at least 28 points.

“It was definitely important to get a good flow going into the ACC play,” Brown-Turner said.

UP NEXT

Elon: Host Furman on Sunday.

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

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