ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands: River Baldwin scored a career-high 26 points and No. 10 North Carolina State beat a team ranked in the top 3 of the AP poll for the second time this month, topping No. 3 Colorado 78-60 at the Paradise Jam on Saturday.
Baldwin scored 16 points in the first half as the Wolfpack (7-0) pulled ahead by as many as 27 en route to their second signature win of the season. N.C. State beat then-No. 2 UConn 92-81 on Nov. 12 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Aziaha James scored 13 points, Madison Hayes had 11 points and Madi Collins added 10 points for the Wolfpack, who scored the game’s first nine points and never trailed.
Jaylyn Sherrod led the Buffaloes (6-1) with 20 points and Frida Formann scored 14. Aaronette Vonleh, the team’s leading scorer at 18.3 per game, was held to five points.
N.C. State held Colorado to 3-of-17 shooting in the first quarter and took a 22-6 lead at the end of the period on Collins’ 3-pointer with 4 seconds remaining. The Wolfpack led 29-6 on Hayes’ layup with 8:27 left in the second quarter.
Colorado cut N.C. State’s lead to 11 points when Sherrod hit two free throws with 1:26 left, only to see the Wolfpack get a pair of free throws from Baldwin and a turnaround jumper from Zoe Brooks with 5 seconds remaining for a 41-26 halftime lead.
N.C. State’s biggest lead came early in the fourth quarter when Aziaha James’ jumper put the Wolfpack ahead 70-43 with 7:09 remaining. Colorado got no closer than 18 the rest of the way.
Colorado: The loss will cost the Buffaloes a few spots in the AP Top 25 when the next poll comes out Monday, but they should stay in the top 10.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack have proved during this memorable November that they can compete with anyone.
Colorado: Hosts Boston University on Tuesday.
N.C. State: Hosts Vanderbilt on Wednesday in the ACC/SEC Challenge.
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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball