GREENSBORO -- Before you can make history, you must first put yourself in the position to make history.
That's what the NC State women's basketball team did at the ACC tournament on Saturday.
The second-seeded Wolfpack withstood an early Boston College scoring barrage, pulled away, then coasted home to an 82-75 victory against the sixth-seeded Eagles that advances it into Sunday's conference championship game.
Coach Wes Moore's team avoided the upset bug that took out other top-three Louisville and Duke to earn a spot in the tournament final for the first time since 2010. The Wolfpack will play No., 4 Florida State on Sunday at Greensboro Coliseum with a chance to win its school's first ACC title in either men's or women's basketball, football or baseball since 1991.
It's a possibility Moore and his players are doing their best not to get excited about. Not with another game still to play and win.
"You know, this isn't the time to sit back and evaluate your accomplishments," Moore said after his team improved to 27-4. "We've got to keep preparing, keep going.
"Right now is not really the time. I told the team in the locker room afterwards, let's don't spend a lot of time thinking about all the outside stuff, let's focus on the scout, the film, the preparation, like we've done all year long and get ready to play one more game."
The Wolfpack got a break earlier in the day when Louisville was upset by Florida State.
But for the first 10 minutes, it appeared as though State might be in danger of a similar fate as the Cardinals when BC came out hotter than a July afternoon in North Carolina.
Having already scored tournament wins against Clemson and Duke, the Eagles (20-12) made 11 of their first 14 field goal attempts in the opening quarter -- including a pair of three-pointers.
It was the second straight slow start for State. But unlike the previous day's quarterfinal win against Georgia Tech, it was able to make some shots of its own and not have to dig itself out of a double-digit hole.
The momentum finally began to shift in the final minue of the period when Kayla Jones and Kai Crutchfield hit back-to-back three-pointers -- the latter coming at the quarter buzzer -- to cut a seven-point deficit down to just one.
"When anybody hits big shots like that it really excites the team and allows us to get more excited on the floor," Konig, who tied freshman Jada Boyd for the team lead with 16 points while hitting four of the Wolfpack's 12 three-pointers, said of the late first quarter turnaround. "We play a little harder we are able to celebrate and. So I think that was the big momentum changer and really got us into the flow."
That flow became a tidal wave in the second period once State made a defensive switch that clamped down on BC big girl Emma Guy on one side of the court and turned up the tempo with its transition game on the other.
It also helped that the Wolfpack dominated the glass, especially on the offensive end.
State held BC without a field goal for the final seven minutes of the half, got outside scoring off the bench from Boyd and inside from All-ACC sophomore Elissa Cunane and outscored the Eagles 25-6 in the quarter.
BC made only 1 of 10 field goal attempts while the Wolfpack went 10 of 15 while opening up a 48-30 lead.
"NC State is an awesome team. They play hard," BC's Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, who beat out Moore for ACC Coach of the Year honors, said. "They play the right way and they get after it and we in that second quarter didn't necessarily step up to the challenge that we needed to and it really started because we weren't making shots and that trickled into our defense."
The second quarter blitz was so decisive that after Cunane picked up her third foul less than two minutes into the third period, Moore had the luxury of sitting her out for the rest of the game. She finished with 11 points and four rebounds in just 16 minutes.
Once State was able to extend its lead past the 20-point plateau, Moore then took advantage to get power forward Jones out of the the game -- keeping both fresher than the might otherwise have been Sunday when the Wolfpack plays its third game in as many days.
"By having such a strong second quarter, we talked at halftime 'let's win the third quarter. If we win the third quarter we are in a position to do those things,'" Moore said. We were able to do a good job in the third quarter.
"(We) definitely wanted to try to get some people off court and some of the people that went in, (especially) Jada Boyd, played extremely well. So that allowed us to get both (Cunane and Jones) some rest.
"That's big. You've got to go out and play. Both teams will be excited tomorrow and have a lot of adrenaline. So how much of a difference it makes I don't know. But, hey, we did everything we could to make sure we're set up and ready to go."