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 82-80
RALEIGH, N.C. — 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 82-80 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.
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 marked marked the first win for Georgia (9-1) against a team ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 for the first time in nearly 18 years. 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.
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.
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 18th-ranked Georgia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Georgia entered trying to beat a top-2 team for the first time since beating top-ranked Tennessee in the 2004 SEC Tournament semifinals.
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.
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.
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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25