N.C. State Archive

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What they’re saying about NC State’s upset of Villanova

statelogoThe 8th seeded N.C. State Wolfpack is going back to the Sweet 16 for the second time in the last four years after an 71-68 upset of top-seeded Villanova on Saturday. The last time the Pack beat a regional No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was during the run to the title in 1983. Here is what they’re saying about the victory.

“I want to give credit to N.C. State. They played a great game, and I think they were able to impose their will and do the things that they did well all season and take us out of what we do well.”
- Villanova coach Jay Wright

“In my opinion, (the ACC) it’s an undervalued conference right now for how strong our league is. So when you went on the road like we have and beat North Carolina, or on the road and beat Louisville or beat a Duke team, it’s not that we don’t respect — we respect Villanova, but we’ve seen good teams. We’ve seen a lot of them in our conference. You see them about every night. So a league like that prepares you for games like tonight. But again, our guys don’t — it’s not something we make a big deal out of, whether they’re the 1, or whatever. We’re going to play, and that’s our next opponent.”
- NC State coach Mark Gottfried

“In terms of talent, N.C. State is in top 15ish range. I’d argue they’re more talented than Villanova. Wolfpack just didn’t always show up.”
- NBC Sports Rob Dauster

“Seriously, did the entire Villanova team get food poisoning last night? One of the best shooting teams in country putting up airballs.”
- Fox Sports Stewart Mandel

“If the Wolfpack can control the pace and tempo in the Sweet 16, they could very well make a surprising run.”
- Bleacher Report’s Nate Loop

“All the close calls that went against N.C. State during the regular season are suddenly going the Wolfpack’s way in the NCAA tournament.”
- Raleigh News & Observer’s Joe Giglio

“We came out today with the feeling that everybody expected us to lose to a one seed, but we believe in ourselves and that we’re good enough to beat anybody in the country and we went down and did it.”
- NC State’s Beejay Anya

“The Wildcats have one more March failure to tack on the list. They shot a season-high 63 percent in the tournament opener against Lafayette. Against the Wolfpack, they fired ‘em early in the shot clock, got stuffed at the rim and twice airballed 3-point attempts. These were the top-seeded Big East champs?”
- Associated Press’s Dan Gelston

“Before the game, a team manager had passed around a blog post suggesting that even N.C. State’s finest effort would not be enough to fell the Wildcats, losers of just two games all season and 9.5-point favorites coming off a 41-point thrashing of poor Lafayette. It would not let that go by easily either.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Dan Greene

“We used all that to add fuel to the fire.It s houldn’t take that, but we like those things to get us over the hump.”
- NC State’s Trevor Lacey, who scored a game-high 17 points.

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Anya glad you kept watching; State wins at buzzer

beejayanyaLSU missed its last 12 field goals and last six free throws as NC State came from 16 down to win at the buzzer on a left-handed hook by Beejay Anya. The 66-65 Wolfpack win advances them to the round of 32 against Villanova Saturday.

The Pack had several opportunities to tie or take the lead in the last minute and a half after missed free throws but missed four three-point shots. LSU led 65-62 with a minute to play but Anya tipped in a Ralston Turner missed three to draw State to within a point at 65-64.

Trevor Lacey came down with a rebound on the other end, keeping the dribble going as he was falling down and the Pack called timeout with 14 seconds left.

It appeared that Lacey was going to take the last shot but he was heavily covered and hastily got it to Anya in the lane with four seconds left. Anya went to his right but found no opening so he reversed to the left, hooking up a shot from about six feet out. The ball bounced around and fell through for the victory. Those four points were the only ones Anya scored all night.

The Pack led 20-19 and never led again until the Anya shot. The Pack trailed by 16 at the half.

“We wanted to stay positive,” State coach Mark Gottfried said. “We got after them at the half but these guys can handle it.” He said that in the second half, the defense stopped LSU from getting easy second-chance dunks that they got in the first half.

“But the big thing was that we stayed positive and kept fighting til the end.”

Lacey agreed. “We was staying positive,” he said. “We knew our shots was gonna fall. We came out and we was excited. We wasn’t executing as well as we know we could.”

He said that in the second half the players calmed down. “It started on the defensive end,” he said. “Once we got stops, we got out on the transition and got some easy baskets.”

Cat Barber led the Pack with 17 points but they got good play off the bench by Kyle Washington who scored nine points on a four of five performance in just 12 minutes of play.

Box score

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State’s Barber cleared to play

Cat Barber.

Cat Barber.

NC State sophomore point guard Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber has been cleared to play after suffering a spasm in his neck muscles.

Barber, a native of Newport News, Va., will continue to receive treatment and is expected to be at full strength for NC State’s postseason play next week.

Barber was under the care and supervision of NC State’s sports medicine personnel since the injury on Thursday night. On Friday evening, he received a computed tomography (X-ray CT) scan of his head and neck. The tests all came back normal.

The injury occurred at the 13:26 mark in the second half of NC State’s ACC Tournament contest vs. Duke.

Barber averages 12.1 points per game and leads the Wolfpack with 3.81 assists per game. He has been a breakout player in recent weeks for NC State, averaging 16.0 points over the last 11 games. He scored a career-high 34 points in NC State’s ACC Tournament victory over Pittsburgh.

NC State owns a 20-13 record and is currently listed as No. 39 in the ESPN.com Daily RPI.

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My official All-ACC ballot differed very slightly from writer’s or coaches’ polls

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll. My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same […]

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll.

My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same as the writer’s poll but the opposite of the coaches’ poll.

Trevor Lacey.

Trevor Lacey.

Probably the biggest difference I had with the two polls was my exclusion of Virginia’s Justin Anderson, who was picked on the second team of both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. I struggled with excluding Anderson, who midway through the season looked like a player of the year candidate. But he was injured for a month and I put a great emphasis on how players did during the conference season, of which he missed a lot.

My other general bias is for upperclassmen over freshmen, which could help explain why I chose Notre Dame Senior Jerian Grant as the ACC player of the year rather than Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor.

Also, I did not have Duke freshman Tyus Jones on my team, although I had him on the All-Freshman team. He was third team on both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. Instead, I had Pitt sophomore Jamel Artis on my third team. Artis leads Pitt in scoring – 13.8 overall and 16.1 in ACC games. He gets six rebounds a game, has an 80 percent conversion rate from the line, 48 percent from the floor and the forward has hit 40 percent of his threes. He is ending the season strong by scoring in double figures each of the last 16 games, averaging 18.5 points per game during that stretch.

The only other discrepancy I had with the writer’s poll (and the coaches’ poll for that matter) is that I had Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije on my third team. Gbinije is 11th in the ACC in scoring at 15.1 points per game, is 9th in field goal percentage at 45.4, is first in steals at 2.1 a game, is second in three-point percentage at 43.4, is 10th in the number of threes made plus he hauls in 5.6 rebounds a game and dishes out 3.9 assists per game.

I suspected he might not make many others’ ballot but I had hoped he would get the most improved player award but that went to Rakeem Christmas, who was also honored with first-team All-ACC and the Defensive Player of the Year. While I also voted for Christmas for first team and for defense, I thought the fact that Gbinije was coming off the bench last year gave him a slight edge for most improved player. Christmas was certainly improved offensively but he was just as excellent defensively last year.

The coaches chose Virginia’s Mike Tobey as the winner of the Sixth Man Award and that makes sense as he played for the best team in regular season and scored 7.2 points with 5.2 rebounds in 18 minutes a game. I don’t like to see players penalized for not being on the best team in the regular season so I went with Charles Mitchell of Georgia Tech, who had better numbers. Mitchell scored 9.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game in 22 minutes per game.

The only vote I regret is leaving Virginia’s Malcolm Brogden off the All-Defensive team. He is a lock-down defender and I should have rewarded him for that rather than simply going by numbers. I had Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton on the team instead – I weighted very heavily that he was second in the league in defensive rebounds. While Connaughton was deserving of being mentioned, Brogden should have been on my team. But, he didn’t need my vote anyway and, again, Connaughton got mentioned.

MY ACSMA ACC AWARDS BALLOT
First Team All-ACC
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
Olivier Hanlan – Guard – Boston College
Malcolm Brogdon – Guard – Virginia

Second Team All-ACC
Quinn Cook – Guard – Duke
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Terry Rozier – Guard – Louisville
Brice Johnson – Forward – North Carolina
Trevor Lacey – Guard – NC State

Third Team All-ACC
Jamel Artis – Forward – Pittsburgh
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame
Marcus Paige – Guard – North Carolina
Anthony Gill – Forward – Virginia
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC All-Defensive team
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
BeeJay Anya – Forward/Center – NC State
Tonye Jekiri – Forward – Miami
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame

ACC All-Freshman team
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Xavier Rathan-Mayes – Guard – Florida State
Tyus Jones – Guard – Duke
Justise Winslow – Forward – Duke
Justin Jackson – Guard – North Carolina

ACC Player of the Year
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame

ACC Rookie of the Year
Jahlil Okafor – Center

ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett – Coach – Virginia

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse

ACC Most Improved Player
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Charles Mitchell – Forward – Georgia Tech

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Coaches’ All-ACC first team mirrors writer’s poll while Paige, Lacey switch spots

Marcus Paige.

Marcus Paige.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the 2015 All-ACC Team, as voted upon by the league’s 15 head coaches, Monday and the first team is exactly the same as the ACC basketball writer’s poll that came out Saturday. However, UNC’s Marcus Paige moves up to the second team on the coaches’ poll while NC State’s Trevor Lacey falls to the third team.

Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor, Notre Dame senior Jerian Grant, Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas, Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan comprise the first team.

Duke’s Okafor, a 6-foot-11 center from Chicago, ranks second among ACC scorers at 17.6 points per game and third in rebounding at 9.2 per contest. Okafor has scored 10 or more points in 29 of his 30 games coming into this week’s New York Life ACC Tournament, and his 11 “double doubles” in points/rebounds rank fourth in the conference.

Notre Dame’s Grant leads the ACC in assists at 6.7 per game, in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.23:1) and in fifth in scoring at 16.8 points per game. The 6-foot-5 guard from Bowie, Maryland, closed the season with a 19-point, eight-assist, five-rebound effort in an 81-67 victory over Clemson Saturday and has scored in double-figures in all but three games this season.

Syracuse’s Christmas led the Orange and ranks third among ACC scorers at 17.5 points per game and is fourth in rebounding at 9.1 boards per contest. In addition, the 6-foot-9 senior from Philadelphia, is second in the ACC with 2.5 blocked shots per game and fifth in field goal percentage (.552).

Virginia’s Brogdon, a second-team selection a year ago, leads the second-ranked Cavaliers in scoring at 13.7 points per game and is second in assists at 2.6 per game. The 6-foot-5 Atlanta, Georgia, junior is averaging 4.0 rebounds per game and is second in the ACC in free throw percentage at .860.

Boston College’s Hanlan leads the ACC in scoring at 19.4 points per game and is ninth in assists at 4.2 per game. The Aylmer, Quebec, junior closed out the regular season having scored in double figures 24 straight games and has scored 10-or-more points in all but one game this season.

Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell (15.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and Terry Rozier (17.0 ppg, 2.0 steals), Duke’s Quinn Cook (16.0 ppg, .885 FT percentage), North Carolina’s Marcus Paige (13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Virginia’s Justin Anderson (13.4 ppg, .484 3-point field goal percentage) were voted to the second team.

NC State’s Trevor Lacey (16.1 ppg) was voted to the third team, along with Duke’s Tyus Jones (11.8 ppg, 5.7 apg), Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton (12.6 ppg), Pitt’s Jamel Artis (13.8) ppg) and North Carolina’s Brice Johnson (12.6 ppg).

First Team All-ACC
Olivier Hanlan, Jr., Boston College
Jahlil Okafor, Fr., Duke
Jerian Grant, Sr., Notre Dame
Rakeem Christmas, Sr. Syracuse
Malcolm Brogdon, Jr., Virginia

Second Team All-ACC
Quinn Cook, Sr., Duke
Montrezl Harrell, Jr., Louisville
Terry Rozier, So., Louisville
Marcus Paige, Jr., North Carolina
Justin Anderson, Jr., Virginia

Third Team All-ACC
Tyus Jones, Fr., Duke
Brice Johnson, Jr., North Carolina
Trevor Lacey, Jr., NC State
Pat Connaughton, Sr., Notre Dame
Jamel Artis, So., Pitt

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NCSU holds Heels to fewest points ever in the Smith Center

Mark Gottfried.

Mark Gottfried.

After getting out to a 16-point lead, a deliberate North Carolina State withstood a 12-0 North Carolina run to win in Chapel Hill for the first time since 2003 by a 58-46 score.

“They dominated from the get-go,” UNC coach Roy Williams said of the Wolfpack, who never trailed after falling behind 2-0. “Our crowd was fantastic and our team and our coach let ‘em down.”

The 46 points were the fewest the Tar Heels have ever scored at the Smith Center.

State’s defense held Carolina to 34.5 percent from the floor as Beejay Anya blocked six Tar Heel shots.

Offensively, the Wolfpack held the ball until late in the shot clock and, despite shooting just 35 percent, drained seven three-pointers. State hit four threes in the first half to take a 29-18 halftime lead.

The Pack got the lead up to 16 following a three by Ralston Turner early in the second half. But then the Tar Heels seemed to wake up with a 12-0 run.

Two buckets by UNC’s Justin Jackson cut the margin to 12. After a State timeout, a couple of nifty assists by Marcus Paige and Jackson cut the lead to eight and precipitated another State timeout.

But the run continued for the Heels. After a Jackson steal, Paige dove and passed to Jackson for a fastbreak layup. Then Paige whipped a pass to Kennedy Meeks to cut the lead to four at 36-32 as State called its third timeout of the half.

A Meeks follow shot cut the lead to 38-36 with 11:04 left in the game.

But State’s Turner drilled a three and, following a Carolina turnover, he went in for a fastbreak layup as the Pack weathered the storm to lead 43-36.

The Tar Heels cut the margin to four twice, the last time after a Paige three made it 50-46 with 2:33 to go.

But Carolina seemed to lose its poise with turnovers and bad shots while State was scoring the final eight points of the game to earn the 12-point victory.

“They made a run – we knew it was coming,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. “The rafters were shaking and our guys answered the run.” He said he was extremely proud of his team, particularly defensively.

Coach Williams said while his players made a nice run, they had no poise late in the game. Lazy passes, bad shot selection and simply poor execution of plays doomed the Heels.

“The last three or four minutes we looked like a team that’s never had a practice,” Williams said.

Jackson led the Tar Heels with 16 points while Meeks had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Anthony Barber led NC State, now 17-11 and 8-7 in the league, with 15 points. Turner and Trevor Lacey added 14 each.

The Tar Heels fall to 19-9 overall and 9-6 in the ACC.

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Two Pack swimmers, one Tar Heel win weekly awards

stateswimNC State’s Anton Ipsen and teammate Rachel Mumma helped the Wolfpack capture two ACC Swimming & Diving weekly awards, after turning in solid performances this past weekend against rival North Carolina. Also earning weekly honors were Louisville’s Tanja Kylliainen and North Carolina’s Jack Nyquist.

NC State’s Ipsen earned ACC Swimmer of the Week recognition after sweeping both distance freestyle events in record fashion. The Wolfpack freshman set the school record in the 1000 free with a time of 8:55.70, just .08 seconds off the fastest time in the country. Ipsen’s 500 free time of 4:19.97 was only a second slower than his school record of 4:18.70.

North Carolina’s Nyquist took home the ACC Male Diver of the Week honor for the fifth time after sweeping all four diving events in dual meets against Duke and NC State. The sophomore had NCAA Zone “B” qualifying scores in all four events and his 3-meter score of 426.53 versus Duke was his top score of the season.

Louisville’s Kylliainen grabbed ACC Female Swimmer of the Week honors for the fourth time after posting three individual wins and a relay victory against No. 12 Indiana. The senior from Towson, Maryland, touched first in the 200 fly, the 400 IM and the 100 fly. Her time of 1:56.21 in the 200 fly and 4:11.05 in the 400 IM were both fourth fastest in the country.

NC State’s Mumma was named ACC Female Diver of the Week for the first time since the opening week of the season. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native recorded two NCAA Zone “B” qualifying scores and set a new school record with her 1-meter score of 332.32.

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UNC finishes ahead of State but loses to WV in gymnastics

gymnasticsIn a competitive quad meet on Saturday, North Carolina finished second, defeating NC State and William & Mary, but being edged out by West Virginia.

Junior Michaela Woodford of host NC State earned three top-three finishes to win the all-around individual competition with a score of 39.175, marking a career high.

The third place Pack scored a combined seven top-three finishes on the evening.

But the Tar Heels posted a total score of 194.500, the second highest of the season, to earn second place. UNC placed three gymnasts in the top five of the all-around competition.

“We did some good things [tonight], but we have to expect a high performance every [meet] from every gymnast in order to achieve our goals. We will go back and push for that,” said head coach Derek Galvin.

In the all-around, Morgan Lane tied for second with a score of 39.125. Lexi Cappalli finished fourth with a 38.825 and Haley Watts notched a 38.700, taking fifth place.

The Tar Heels began the meet on floor, totaling a season-high score of 48.700. Lane and Cappalli both recorded a 9.825, tying for third among all competitors. Watts notched a 9.800, which tied for seventh place. In addition, Lauren Weisel added a 9.700.

UNC next competed on vault, which proved to be the team’s strongest rotation of the evening. The Tar Heels tallied a season-high 48.800. Carolina received two of the top six scores. Sarah Peterson notched a 9.875, tying for second and Watts had a 9.825, which tied for sixth. For the first time all season, Kaitlynn Hedelund participated in vault, where she received a 9.700. Lane and Cappalli also contributed scores of 9.700 for the Tar Heels.

On the uneven bars, Carolina finished with a 48.425. Hedelund notched a 9.800, which tied for second. Lane had a 9.725, tying for sixth. In addition, Cappalli received a 9.700 and Acacia Cosentino was awarded a 9.675.

“[At bars] we kind of lost our momentum, which was disappointing. We had an opportunity tonight to score in the 195 range again, but we were unable to perform on beam and bars,” said Galvin.

The Tar Heels finished the competition on the balance beam, tallying a score of 48.575. At the final apparatus, UNC placed three gymnasts in the top six. Lane notched a 9.875, the highest score among all competitors. Peterson added a season-high 9.775, tying for fifth. Hedelund notched a 9.750, which tied for sixth. In addition, Cappalli received a season-high 9.600.

“[This week] we will go into training knowing what it feels like to let an opportunity slide like it did tonight. We are determined not to let that happen again for the rest of the season.”

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Heels hang on to nip Pack 81-79 behind Paige

Marcus Paige.

Marcus Paige.

North Carolina opened up a close game with a 10-0 run over rival NC State in the second half only to see a 12-point lead nearly evaporate in an 81-79 victory in Raleigh.

The back-and-forth first half ended with the Tar Heels up six, 32-26 at the break. The Wolfpack cut the margin to two midway through the second half at 54-52.

That’s when the Tar Heels reeled off 10 straight points and seemed in control of the game at 64-52 with less than eight minutes to play.

JP Tokoto led the way for the Heels during the run as he stole the ball and went in for a fast break layup and foul for a three-point play. Then he found an open Kennedy Meeks and whipped a pass to him for a dunk assist.

Carolina still led by 11 at 73-62 with 3:45 to go but then “some stuff started happening” as UNC coach Roy Williams put it.

Following a long two point basket by 6-foot-9 Kyle Washington, who had a season-high 17 points, Ralston Turner, saddled with four fouls, drained a three from the right corner and was fouled by UNC’s Theo Pinson.

The four-point play drew the Pack to within five points at 73-68. After a UNC free throw, Turner, heavily guarded, hit another three with 2:10 left to make it 74-71.

Turner had a chance to tie it with 1:35 to go but missed the three. UNC’s Marcus Paige, who led all scorers with 23 points, sank a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left to seemingly put the Tar Heels in control.

But Trevor Lacey, who had missed five three pointers with Tokoto covering him, hit a three from the top of the key to draw the Pack to within a bucket at 76-74 with 14 seconds left.

After a slew of free throws for each team, including another pair by Paige, the Heels led 81-78 with a second to go.

A foul by UNC’s Isaiah Hicks on the court-long pass sent Abdul-Malik Abu to the free throw line. He hit the first and intentionally missed the second free throw. State’s Cody Martin got his hand around Meeks for a tip that went to the left of the basket as Carolina escaped.

“We were lucky as all get out and we’ll get out of town as quick as we can,” Coach Williams said.

Williams generally was happy with his team, which shot 56 percent from the floor and got production (19 points) off the bench. But he was concerned with the offensive rebounding as State had 16 offensive rebounds compared to just seven for UNC. That’s nine more possessions the Wolfpack got.

State coach Mark Gottfried said his team had a let down during the Carolina 10-0 run. “That hole was hard to get out of,” he said. While he said his team never quit, he also said the club didn’t always play with energy.

“We have a lot of things to build on,” he said. “This young group needs to learn that it takes 40 minutes of high intensity.”

He said that Paige, who scored 35 against the Pack last year, enjoys playing against the Pack but that he thought the difference was the 17 baskets by the three big men (Meeks 15 points, Brice Johnson 10 points and Isaiah Hicks’ season-high 12 points off the bench.)

Paige had his best game of the year with nine assists and no turnovers to go with his 23 points, which included going five of five from three-point land.

Turner led State, now 12-6 and 3-2 in the league, with 20 points.

The 13-4 and 3-1 Tar Heels, who have now won 23 of the last 25 games against the Wolfpack, host Virginia Tech Sunday.

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State’s Chavis wins ACC field honors

Nicole Chavis.

Nicole Chavis.

NC State weight thrower Nicole Chavis was tabbed as the ACC Women’s Field Performer of the Week.

Chavis has dominated all three of her weight throw events thus far, placing first in each and besting the second-place finishers by an average of 4 feet, 4.2 inches.

The Lumberton, NC redshirt junior’s throw of 66-5 ¾ (20.26 meters) in the UNC Greensboro 6-Way ranked sixth nationally, and her average throw of 65-10 thus far is 3 ½ feet greater than her 62-5 average through her first three events of 2013-14.