Saniya Rivers and NC State stun No. 2 UConn with 92-81 upset win

NC State's last win over UConn came in 1998 in the NCAA tournament

Saniya Rivers and NC State pulled off the second major upset of the season on Sunday afternoon.
Saniya Rivers and NC State pulled off the second major upset of the season on Sunday afternoon. (AP/Karl B. DeBlaker) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NC State stunned Geno Auriemma and Paige Beukers on Sunday afternoon.

The Wolfpack, despite falling into a nine-point hole early on at Reynolds Coliseum, rallied to knock off No. 2 UConn 92-81 in the second major upset of the women's college basketball season. Saniya Rivers led the Wolfpack with 33 points and 10 rebounds.

It marked NC State's first win over UConn since the NCAA tournament in 1998.

UConn opened the game on an 11-4 run, and seemed to be in full control. It held a nine-point lead after the first quarter, though that’s when the Wolfpack bounced back. NC State opened the second period on a 14-5 run and quickly tied the game before entering the locker room down by a point at halftime.

NC State pulled away in the fourth quarter. The Wolfpack opened that period on a 13-4 tear, thanks to seven points from Aziaha James. Though Bueckers brought the game back to single digits with a jumper with 61 seconds left, it was too late.

Bueckers led UConn with 27 points after she shot 11-of-18 from the field. Aaliyah Edwards added 21 points and six rebounds in the loss, and Qadence Samuels finished with 11 points off the bench. They were the only three UConn players to score in double figures. The Huskies shot 7-of-22 from behind the arc and were outrebounded 41-29. The last time they allowed 92 points in regulation was in 2001, per ESPN.

UConn opened the season with a near-50-point win over Dayton. The Huskies will next host No. 14 Maryland on Thursday before games against Minnesota, No. 4 UCLA and Kansas later this month.

Rivers shot 11-of-19 from the field and became the first player in the past 25 seasons to record at least 30 points and 10 rebounds against UConn in a game, per ESPN. James finished with 18 points and three rebounds, and Zoe Brooks added 12 points off the bench.

The Wolfpack shot 52.5% from the field as a team. NC State beat Charlotte by 41 points in its season opener last week. It'll host Elon on Wednesday night.

The Huskies became the second top team to fall already this season, which opens the door for Caitlin Clark and Iowa to take the No. 1 overall spot in the AP Top 25 poll Monday. No. 20 Colorado stunned reigning national champion LSU in their season-opener with a 14-point upset. The Hawkeyes, meanwhile, beat No. 8 Virginia Tech on Thursday night behind 44 points from Clark, last year’s National Player of the Year who had a triple-double Sunday against Northern Iowa and became the program’s all-time leading scorer in the process.

The Hawkeyes, who started at No. 3, should jump to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time since 1988.