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NC State’s big rally comes up short as Wolfpack loses to Wake Forest, 71-67


NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

I never know exactly what to expect in road games, but falling behind by 22 points was not one of the scenarios I’d figured possible against Wake Forest. Silly me! Give NC State credit for clawing its way out of that hole, but the bottom line is that State wasn’t good enough long enough to beat the Deacs. That is an unfortunate thing to have to type.

The Wolfpack played maybe its worst half of the season in the first 20 minutes, looking both lifeless and unfocused for significant stretches after jumping out to an 8-2 lead. State took poor shot after poor shot on offense while surrendering a lot of easy buckets to Wake at the defensive end, and the result was a 15-point halftime deficit to the league’s worst team.

State’s plan of attack was ill-considered given Wake’s struggles to defend the interior—the Pack ended up settling for way too many jump shots, letting the Deacs off the hook without a challenge. It was a dumb approach and grew dumber with each subsequent missed three. NC State started 1-11 from three and finished 6-29. It was extremely painful to watch.

Torin Dorn was good and C.J. Bryce played decent, but everybody else stunk, and this was not the night for that, what with Markell Johnson sitting out the proceedings. Not even 18 offensive rebounds could salvage this mess.

Ah well. It’s a long season and this shit happens. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’m gonna go bang my head against a wall for the next hour.