GREENSBORO, N.C. — Aislinn Konig and her 10th-ranked North Carolina State teammates weren’t born the last time the Wolfpack won the ACC women’s basketball tournament championship.
But the significance of the achievement wasn’t lost on them Sunday.
They soaked in a historic victory, remaining on the court for more than a half-hour to cut down the nets and make snow angels on the floor amid balloons and confetti after topping No. 22 Florida State 71-66 for their first ACC Tournament title in 29 years.
“It’s absolutely amazing to bring back this championship to Reynolds (Coliseum) and our fans and to everyone who has come before us,” Konig said.
Konig shook off a rough first half by making 5 of 7 shots from the field in the second half and finishing with 18 points to earn the tournament’s most outstanding player award.
Elissa Cunane also had 18 points and Jakia Brown-Turner added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolfpack (28-4). They won the school’s first tourney title since 1991, taking a tightly contested game in which neither team lead by more than six points throughout.
Kiah Gillespie had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Florida State (24-8), which had upended No. 4 Louisville on Saturday to reach the final. Nausia Woolfork and Nicki Ekhomu each had 17 for the Seminoles, who have never won the ACC tournament title.
“It was great for ACC basketball,” said Seminoles coach Sue Semrau of the close contest. “It’s great for women’s basketball, and I love this team. We battled. We fought and came up short.”
Konig provided the spark in the second half, helping the Wolfpack overcame a five-point deficit in the third quarter with a pair of 3s.
“We didn’t shoot it really well in the first half,” Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. “But we knocked them down when we needed to.”
The game ultimately came down to a free-throw-shooting contest.
Cunane made 10 of 14 foul shots.
With the score tied at 63, Cunane made one of two free throws to put the Wolfpack ahead for good with 1:50 left.
The Seminoles came to Greensboro looking to improve their NCAA Tournament seed and likely did that with two strong showings against Top 10 teams. They’ll likely be a No. 5 or 6 seed in the tournament.
“We got a lot of season left,” Semrau said.