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NC State's brutal second half leads to 73-56 defeat in Clemson

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NCSU Clemson
eFG% 51.1 53.1
Turnover Rate 23.9
Off Reb Rate 32.1 44.4
FT Rate 30.4 54.2

Clemson 73 58.5 124.8 95.7
NCSU 56 58.5 95.7 124.8

It's more difficult to remember now, but for a while there, things weren't so bad for NC State. The Wolfpack shot well over 50% in the opening half, giving it a one-point edge at the break. And then everything went bad at once. Just a few minutes into the second half, State's lead had become a multi-possession deficit, and Clemson kept pouring it on.

I mentioned a couple of things State could do to help itself against the Tigers--keep 'em off the line and off the offensive glass. State did neither. Prior to Tuesday night, Clemson hadn't come anywhere close to scoring 1.25 points per possession in a league game; its previous best was a 1.14 PPP effort in the upset over Duke.

The sad thing is Clemson didn't even need a huge performance from K.J. McDaniels to pull this off. McDaniels was actually third on the team in points scored and shot attempts, behind both Rod Hall (who got himself a career-high in points) and Damarcus Harrison. The Wolfpack couldn't figure out how to get stops against this pedestrian outfit, which is somewhat surprising despite State's obvious deficiencies at the defensive end.

Now the Pack's really up against it. Getting to 10 wins in league play requires getting a win against UNC or Pittsburgh, plus no missteps elsewhere. We shouldn't proclaim the Pack toast just yet, but this team is perilously close to being finished.