The Star Democrat

Staiti, Georgia stun No. 2 Wolfpack in OT

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jenna Staiti had 21 points and 11 rebounds while coming up with a critical defensive stop in the final seconds of overtime to help No. 17 Georgia beat No. 2 North Carolina State 8280 on Thursday night.

Sarah Ashlee Barker added 16 points for the Bulldogs, including a long, leaning 3-pointer over Crutchfiel­d with 0.4 seconds left in regulation to force the extra period.

In the final seconds of OT, the 6-foot-4 Staiti was defending 6-5 Wolfpack star Elissa Cunane in the paint with the Bulldogs protecting an 81-80 lead. Cunane turned toward the baseline and missed as Staiti stayed with her in a play with a lot of contact that left Cunane falling to the floor.

Staiti came up with the rebound with 1.7 seconds left. Que Morrison followed by making 1 of 2 free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining. The Wolfpack rebounded the second free throw and called timeout with 0.3 seconds left for a desperatio­n final inbounds play, but Kayla Jones couldn’t get a shot off in time — sending the Bulldogs bench running from the bench to near midcourt for a hug-filled celebratio­n on the Wolfpack’s home court.

It was the first road win for Georgia against a team ranked either No. 1 or No. 2. And it ended a 10-game winning streak for the Wolfpack (10-2).

Morrison finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists for Georgia (9-1).

Cunane had 18 of her 20 points in the second half for the Wolfpack after spending most of the first half on the bench with two quick fouls. Diamond Johnson added 17 points for the Wolfpack, who rallied from 12 down at halftime but couldn’t hold onto a four-point lead in the final minute of regulation.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: Picked to finish fourth in the Southeaste­rn Conference, the Bulldogs have lost only once this year — by a point to in-state rival and 18thranked Georgia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference. This time, Georgia

took down the preseason ACC favorite.

N.C. State: Wes Moore’s squad hadn’t lost since falling to No. 1 South Carolina on opening night here, making the Wolfpack the first of five top-15 teams to lose to the Gamecocks so

far this season. N.C. State had beaten two ranked teams since — No. 9 Maryland in the Bahamas and No. 10 Indiana on the road — but couldn’t add a third win against an AP Top 25 opponent.

UP NEXT

Georgia: The Bulldogs face St. Francis (Pennsylvan­ia) on Sunday in the first of three straight home games.

N.C. State: Virginia visits the Wolfpack on Sunday in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

 ?? AP PHOTO ?? Georgia’s Que Morrison, front right, tries to steal the ball from N.C. State’s Elissa Cunane, back right, during Thursday’s first half.
AP PHOTO Georgia’s Que Morrison, front right, tries to steal the ball from N.C. State’s Elissa Cunane, back right, during Thursday’s first half.

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