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NC State falls short in crunch time, loses to Wofford, 55-54

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lacey did everything he could to rescue NC State on Sunday, hitting some tough shots in the last few minutes including what appeared to be the game-winning shot at the buzzer. But by the closest of margins the ball was in Lacey's fingertips as time expired, the would-be hero shot was wiped away, and Wofford had its upset, 55-54.

It was a rough second half in general for the Wolfpack, which managed only 21 points as it succumbed to Wofford's style of play. The Terriers did exactly what they've done all year, which is take care of the defensive boards and force turnovers, and that was the difference for them in their second-half rally.

The Terriers also got their offense going at the right time, putting together some outstanding set plays in the final three or four minutes to deliver open looks and/or easy baskets. The last of them came on an in-bounds play with 6.7 seconds remaining and Wofford down one, which set up Lacey's near-heroics.

NC State led by five points at the break and by as many as nine during the game but to its credit Wofford was not going to fade. That's a good, veteran team, and that is where this hurts most--Wofford is going to have a good season, so beating the Terriers would have meant a valuable addition to the NCAA tournament resume. It's why Mark Gottfried schedules games like this in the first place.

Alas. The whole catch with scheduling these games is, well, losing can happen. So it goes.