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NC State holds off Mercer for 78-74 win

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They had to go and do this today.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State got off to another sluggish first-half start but seemed to be in complete control about five minutes into the second half after extending the lead well into double figures. Shows what we know! NC State led by as many as 21 in the second but then saw its lead nearly evaporate entirely down the stretch.

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Four Factors NC State Mercer
Four Factors NC State Mercer
eFG% 51.7 55.7
TO% 14.5 30.3
OR% 33.3 30.4
FTR 48.3 77.3

Mercer shot better than State today and also got to the line 34 times, but the Wolfpack’s edge in the turnover category proved a huge difference. NC State finished +12 there, and having 12 more shots at scoring than your opponent tends to help with winning a lot. Six minutes into the second half, the turnovers looked like the main reason why Mercer was going to be blown out.

Oops.

Give the Bears credit for fighting back, though this was not the most inspired NC State effort of the season, and some of the fouling in the second half was a wee bit frustrating. Mercer attempted nearly as many free throws (23) and field goals (24) in the second half. I dunno, maybe the team’s just bored by the schedule at this point. Which is cool, because the boring part is halting abruptly next week.

Torin Dorn led the Pack with 19 points, C.J. Bryce had 17, and Markell Johnson finished with 16.