NC State’s Kayla Jones has patella ligament injury; status for Sweet 16 questionable

NC State starter Kayla Jones’ status for the Sweet 16 is questionable because of a patella ligament injury, coach Wes Moore said Tuesday.

Jones, a 6-foot-1 forward, left the No. 1-seeded Wolfpack’s first-round game against North Carolina A&T on Sunday with the knee injury, and didn’t play in Tuesday’s 79-67 success over No. 8 seed South Florida.

“I don’t know when she might be back; we were fortunate to get through today without her,” Moore said. “A lot of it’s gonna just depend on the pain and how intense it is. … Hopefully she’ll improve in the next few days and we can get her back out there.”

Jones is averaging 11.9 points, 7.1 bounce back and 2.8 assists.

NC State will confront the victor of Wednesday’s Indiana-Belmont matchup in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Indeed, even without Jones, NC State had every one of the five starters score in double figures Tuesday, driven by sophomore wing Jakia Brown-Turner’s 19 points.