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Dominant second half propels NC State to 86-68 win over Presbyterian

Winning is winning and such.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

NC State out-scored Presbyterian 50-24 in the second half to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and roll past Presbyterian, 86-68. As bad as State was in the first half, it was that good in the second, and the out-manned Blue Hose eventually wore down. Lennard Freeman led the Wolfpack with 23 points, seven boards, three steals, and three blocks.

State will have to figure out how to start games more quickly, but the end result was once again good. Presbyterian gave the Pack all it could handle over the first 20 minutes and took a highly improbable eight-point lead into the break. The Hose shot well, took reasonable care of the ball, and also did a solid job on the offensive glass, which is a combo that usually leads to positive results.

NC State’s defense didn’t force a lot of mistakes in the early-going, and its halfcourt effort was atrocious—Presbyterian got numerous easy looks in close and converted on the majority of them, which allowed it to stave off the Pack for a significant chunk of the game.

But reality usually sets in at some point for really bad teams, and tonight there could be no escape for the Hose.

A much more focused and energetic effort from State in the second half made the game academic late despite Presbyterian’s head start to begin the final 20 minutes. As Presbyterian tired, NC State’s pressure defense became substantially more effective.

State played a garbage half and made exactly one three-pointer all night but still came away with a decisive victory, at least on the scoreboard. This is something you can do against one of D-I’s worst teams. We’ll take it, move on, and hopefully never speak of it again. We’ll take it