NC State got a huge bounce-back victory on Wednesday night, and freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. made some history. Smith became just the second Wolfpack player ever to record a triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds.
That was a whole lot of fun, all of it. NC State came out fast and quickly staked a double-digit lead, and after shooting nearly 70% from the field, held a 25-point halftime lead.
Of course, Virginia Tech was going to make a run, and the Hokies began the second half with a 10-0 burst. State responded from there, thanks to a lot of Dennis Smith and a lot of dunks, and the Pack had re-established a 25-point edge with less than nine minutes to play.
To its credit, Virginia Tech managed one more run down the stretch, though never seriously challenged the outcome of the game. There wasn’t much that anybody was going to be able to do against this Wolfpack team tonight.
In addition to Smith’s effort, Abdul-Malik Abu was a perfect 9-9 from the field and recorded a double-double. Terry Henderson was outstanding, while Maverick Rowan and Omer Yurtseven had some nice stretches during the first half.
As a team, State was good on the defensive glass, helping it to weather Virginia Tech’s 13-30 shooting from three (43.5%). Virginia Tech turned it over 20 times and also struggled inside the arc, making only 12-28 attempts (42.9%).
The Hokies were forced to live on the perimeter, couldn’t create second chances, and squandered too many possessions with giveaways. Can’t live like that against a team that’s shooting lights out.