RALEIGH, N.C. -- Grace Hunter scored 16 points, Kai Crutchfield added 15 and No. 17 North Carolina State used a big run in the fourth quarter to defeat Belmont 77-62 in the season-opener for both teams Wednesday night.
The Wolfpack, who have won 16 straight openers, led 55-52 after three quarters and twice swapped baskets with the Bruins before Hunter knocked down a jumper. Crutchfield followed with a 3-pointer and another jumper before Aislinn Konig drilled a 3. The same trio scored the next eight points with Hunter finishing the 18-0 surge for a 77-56 lead with 2:54 to play.
Belmont, which went 31-4 and won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the third straight year to make the NCAA Tournament, missed seven shots and had three turnovers during the more than five-minute drought.
Konig finished with 11 points and Elissa Cunane 12, combining with Crutchfield to help give the N.C. State bench a 36-16 advantage.
Jenny Roy had 14 points and Ellie Harmeyer and Darby Maggard 13 each for Belmont.
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|Southeast Missouri State||13-7||4.5||15-11|