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Aziah James finds road shooting touch, scoring 24 points in No. 7 N.C. State's 82-61 win over BC

BOSTON (AP) — Aziah James scored 24 points, overcoming some recent road-shooting woes, to lead No. 7 North Carolina State to an 82-61 victory over Boston College on Sunday.

Mimi Collins had 17 points, Madison Hayes added 14 with a career-high 14 rebounds, and Saniya Rivers had 15 points for the Wolfpack (18-2, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who posted their third straight victory.

Over the previous four road games, James, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, struggled with her shot, missing all 17 of her 3-point attempts and making just 10 of 54 overall. She went 8 of 21 from the field on Sunday, hitting 3 of 8 from beyond the arc.

“It feels real good to come back,” James said, standing on the court directly in front of her team’s bench, talking about her shooting. “I’ve been working on (it) myself and with the help of my teammates and my coaching staff, it just fills me up everyday.”

Teya Sidberry led Boston College (11-11, 3-6) with 18 points, Andrea Daley and T’yana Todd both scored 13. Team-leading scorer Dontavia Waggoner finished with 12.

Spending their 10th consecutive week in the AP’s Top 10 after dropping three spots last Monday, the Wolfpack took charge at the start of the second quarter, going on a quick 9-0 spree over a 1:16 stretch to turn their three-point edge into their first double-digit lead of the game.

James started the run by nailing a 3-pointer directly in front of BC’s bench and capped it with a fastbreak layup off a turnover, making it 25-13.

James, who posted a career-best 33 points in a victory over Duke last Sunday, missed five of her initial six shots from the floor before connecting on a pair of 3s and hitting four of her next seven.

“She’s the kind of player that if she sees a couple go through the net, she feeds off of that and gains confidence as you go,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. “It’s definitely good to see her knocking down shots. We’ve gotta have that.”

BC mixed in zone with some man defense, trying to slow N.C. State’s offense. It seemed to work early while the Eagles were hitting their shots at a 42.9% clip in the opening quarter, but the Wolfpack’s best in the conference field-goal percentage defense forced BC into some tough shots and turnovers in the second quarter.

“We were supposed to shootaround around 7:30 a.m. and I woke up around 5 and was really debating if I was doing the right thing,” Moore said. “I decided to not shootaround; very rare for us and tried to go with the energy. They’ve probably earned themselves some more sleep in the future if it’s an early shootaround.”

N.C. State led 42-26 at halftime.

James’ jumper late in the third quarter pushed N.C. State’s lead to 20 points for the first time (60-40).

BC did make a brief run in the final quarter, closing it to 65-54 on consecutive 3s by Daley.

“I think it's the sustained toughness," BC coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said of her team's effort against tough frontcourts. “I think they've proved they can do it, but it's like really hard work. It's not just physical hard work, it's mental hard work.”

BIG PICTURE

N.C. State: Balanced scoring is something the Wolfpack brings against any opponent. Entering Sunday, all five starters were averaging double figures.

Boston College: A decent middle-of-the-conference team, the Eagles have trouble competing against the ACC’s best. They haven’t beaten an AP Top 10 team at home since defeating then-No. 6 Duke 14 years ago.

UP NEXT

N.C. State: Hosts No. 20 North Carolina on Thursday.

Boston College: At Clemson Thursday.

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