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Big second half propels NC State past Wake Forest, 78-65

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NC State
Wake Forest
eFG% 59.6 43.0
Turnover Rate 21.7
15.5
Off Reb Rate 21.4 21.4
FT Rate 70.2 52.6

Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Wake Forest
65 70 92.9 111.4
NC State
78 70 111.4 92.9

NC State overcame a slow start and a bunch of foul trouble to beat Wake Forest 78-65 in Raleigh on Saturday night. The Pack got 21 points from Ralston Turner and 15 from Trevor Lacey, as the team's backcourt play was much better in general than the other night against Purdue.

State had just two points at the first media timeout of the game thanks to cold shooting and turnovers; fortunately, Wake Forest was equally bad from the field and could not take advantage of the opportunity State was giving it. The Deacs never pushed their lead beyond six points in the first 10 minutes and State quickly made it a memory as the Pack's offense warmed up.

NC State turned a three-point halftime edge into a 14-point lead with an 11-0 run right out of the break.  Turner accounted for seven of those 11 points, putting him well on the way to his outstanding 17-point half. With that cushion established and the guards continuing to play well, Wake couldn't mount a serious comeback. Several times the Deacs were able to cut the lead to single digits, but State was always able to respond.

The game featured a lot of whistles--the teams combined shot 63 free throws--and the frustrations that go with this type of game. BeeJay Anya had two fouls in the first four minutes, which put him on the bench the rest of the half, and of course when he did get back on the floor, the foul calls returned. So poor Beej did not get to play a lot, but he did have five blocks anyway.

Trevor Lacey also ended up with four fouls late, while Dez Lee fouled out. A couple of Deacs also had their nights cut short thanks to fouls.

Codi Miller-McIntyre had a great game for Wake Forest but got no support, and that was a big difference in this one--State had three scorers hit double digits and do so efficiently, while the Deacs had Miller-McIntyre. Devin Thomas was just 4-of-12 from the field; no other Wake player made more than two buckets.

This was an essential win for NC State, not only because Wake Forest is bad, but also because the Pack has a Duke-UVA-UNC gauntlet waiting for it when conference play resumes in about a month. Plus this means State is guaranteed to hold sole possession of first place in the ACC for a week.