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NC State finds calm after chaotic start, drops Penn State, 85-78

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We will take this very much, thanks.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an up-and-down day for NC State athletics, and perhaps fittingly, the basketball team offered an up-and-down finish to the night. NC State looked clueless against Penn State over the first four minutes on the way to an 11-0 deficit, but once the Wolfpack finally put an end to that ugliness, it took control of the game.

Four Factors

Four Factors NC State Penn State
Four Factors NC State Penn State
eFG% 52.6 47
TO% 19.2 24.3
OR% 36.1 47.6
FTR 64.9 34.3

NC State led by seven at the break and held fast for an 85-78 over the Nittany Lions. The ACC has clinched the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, not that it’s really important right now. (Or ever.)

The Wolfpack began its rally with Sam Hunt, who came off the bench to hit a few three-pointers in the first half. Once NC State actually hit a couple buckets in a row, it was like a shock to the system, and the guys played a more aggressive game from that point forward.

Hunt’s perimeter game was tremendous, but I could not possibly finish this recap without mention of Omer Yurtseven, who hit a trio of threes as State rallied and ran past the Nittany Lions. Yurtseven scored a career-high 19 points and also grabbed 11 boards—that’s a fantastic effort for a short-handed team.

State had to start the game playing small-ball because neither Darius Hicks (season-ending knee injury) nor Abdul-Malik Abu (knee soreness) were available, and this was a disadvantage throughout, but the Pack’s defense nonetheless managed to bring out the worst in the Penn State offense, which played from behind for the entire second half.

This one didn’t come without stress, but NC State never trailed in the second half, either. I’ll take that after going into the first television timeout of the evening without points.