Story Poster
Wes Moore
Jakia Brown-Turner & Elissa Cunane
Virginia Tech's Kenny Brooks & Elizabeth Kitley
NC State Women's Basketball

LOCKER ROOM REPORT: Fourth-Ranked Wolfpack Hangs On Against Hokies

January 23, 2022

No. 4 NC State's Wes Moore, Jakia Brown-Turner, and Elissa Cunane and Virginia Tech's Kenny Brooks and Elizabeth Kitley met with the media following the Wolfpack's 51-45 win over the Hokies Sunday afternoon.

Brown-Turner powered the Wolfpack offense with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field, additionally tallying seven rebounds, three steals and one assist. Cunane led the Pack on the boards with 10 while also scoring seven points, blocking three shots, and recording one steal.

Kitley added eight points for the Hokies, tied with Aisha Sheppard for second on the team behind Georgia Amoore’s 13. She also added eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and one steal.

NOTE: Click on each respective video to watch each press conference. A transcript of Moore’s comments is below.

Opening Statement

This is one of those games you keep telling the players about. First of all, give Virginia Tech a lot of credit for their defense. They made it really hard for us to score inside which is kind of our staple. I thought Kitley did a great job in there, making it tough. Obviously, they made a great run at the end to tighten it up. It kind of felt like the Louisville game in reverse. Our shots started rolling out, theirs started going in, and next thing you know, we’ve got a tight ball game. Again, this is the kind of game you talk about. We didn’t shoot it well. We turned it over too much, but we out-rebounded them. I think we outscored them, 16-2, off second-chance points. We also outscored them, 16-2, off turnovers. That was probably the difference in the game. Again, even though it wasn’t pretty — we’ve got some work to do offensively — at least we found a way to grind it out and win. I’m happy for that.

You mentioned second-chance points and offensive rebounds. A couple of weeks ago, you talked about how important offensive rebounds were to become an elite team. Was tonight an example of that?

Yeah, definitely. The teams that I’m familiar with that are championship-caliber teams, rebounding is number one. That’s their emphasis, and that’s the way we want to be. We hadn’t been really consistent, but at least, I thought, we came out early in the game and did a good job there. Again, that’s what I mentioned. If this had been an NCAA Tournament game where we struggled so much offensively, we would have been able to survive and advance because of our defense and because of our rebounding. It’s a catch-22. That’s good to see. Hopefully, we can get to clean up our offense.

With Cunane and Kitley having a standoff, it seemed like the depth through the rest of the lineup seemed to carry you.

I looked out there a couple of times and saw some people that I thought were dragging a little bit. Thursday night was a high-stress game. Fighting to come back from such a big deficit takes a lot out of you. I think we’re getting a break at a good time by playing Miami earlier. We’re going to pay for that in a week or two when we have to go to Carolina, to Notre Dame, and then host Florida State. That’s on a Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. It’s a tough stretch, but I think we needed this a little bit. Hopefully, we can rest and recover some, maybe clean a few things up, and get ready to get back at it.

On the physicality between Cunane and Kitley…

Elissa had a tough day offensively, but she did go and get 10 rebounds for us. That’s what we talk a lot about, too: “On a day when you’re not shooting well, can you still help us win?” I thought she did that. I thought Jakia made some big plays for us down the stretch in the last couple of minutes. We put her back in mainly to get a little bit of length and defense out there. Sure enough, she got the steal at half-court that resulted in a layup. She was the one involved in the ball that went out of bounds under the bucket, and we were able to get a possession there. I thought she made some big plays for us down the stretch.

Is this week off coming at the right time?

Yeah, it’s a good time. I’m going recruiting tomorrow for a day or so, and then we’ll come back and have a couple of practices where we can actually focus on us. Then, we’ll have another day off before we start getting ready for a really, really challenging game over in Chapel Hill. That’s a tough place to play, and they’ve got a nice team, very talented. It’s going to be a tough game. I’m disappointed in our scheduling that, with the four teams we play twice, we play all four at home first and then have to follow up on the road. It’s going to be a big challenge going to Carolina, Duke, and Virginia Tech. All those games are going to be tough wins to get.

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