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James stars as NC State beats Chattanooga

Aziaha James NC State Aziaha James - The Canadian Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- — Aziaha James scored each of her 19 points in the second half, and North Carolina State pulled away from Chattanooga for a 64-45 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Saniya Rivers scored 16 points and River Baldwin had 10 points and 11 rebounds, boosting N.C. State coach Wes Moore to a victory against his former team.

Next up for No. 3 seed N.C. State (28-6) is ex-Wolfpack coach Kellie Harper and sixth-seeded Tennessee (20-12) on Monday. The Lady Vols advanced with a 92-63 victory over Green Bay.

The winner goes to the Sweet 16 in Portland, Oregon.

Jada Guinn scored 13 points for Chattanooga (28-5), which had lost only once previously in 2024. Raven Thompson added 11 points.

The Mocs fell to 1-17 in NCAA Tournament play, with the lone victory coming when Moore was coaching the team. He coached 15 seasons at Chattanooga before leaving for the N.C. State job following the 2012-13 season.

Chattanooga, which shot 33% from the field, had scored at least 49 points in every game this season.

James was 0 for 4 from the field in the first half, but she drained five 3-pointers in the second half.

A 12-0 run in the third quarter stretched N.C. State’s advantage to 41-20.

Both teams shot below 31% from the floor in the first half, when they combined to go 3 for 24 on 3-pointers.


Referee Angelica Suffren, who worked the earlier Green Bay-Tennessee game, was on the court for the second half of Chattanooga-N.C. State game. She replaced Tommi Paris.

Danielle Jackson was listed as the game’s standby official, but she wasn’t used. NCAA representatives on-site didn’t provide a reason for the change.

Suffren assessed a fourth-quarter technical foul to Chattanooga coach Shawn Poppie with the Mocs trailing 50-28.


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