When NC State was up eight with about 11 minutes left, I was feeling pretty good, I gotta say. Boy was I dumb. In what felt a bit like a repeat of the Purdue game, NC State just could not get stops down the stretch as Miami’s offense kicked into another gear, outscoring the Pack 18-10 over the final six minutes.
Jericole Hellems paced the offense with 24 points, and the offense was not the problem by any means: the Wolfpack put together their most efficient performance since late November, and on most nights, averaging 1.17 points per possession is going to be enough to win.
It’s not sufficient when the other team almost hits 1.3 PPP, though. During this four game skid, State has surrendered at least 1.1 points per possession three times, and that ain’t good.
Tonight, Miami made 56.8% of its twos and 52.6% of its threes. The Pack owned the glass and even finished +2 in turnovers, but the Canes shot the ball too well for those other things to matter in the end.
Not all of this boils down to effort or execution and I’m sure it’s frustrating for the guys to spend so much time out in front only for the game to slip away in the waning minutes. They’ve been close, but haven’t been able to put a complete game together and get it done.
Their next opportunity to do that comes at home against Florida State on Saturday. I don’t feel great about that.