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Strong second half performance leads NC State past Robert Morris, 81-69

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phew

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

Whatever works, man. NC State trailed for more than 28 minutes on Tuesday night but led for the last nine, which is kind of the important part. The Wolfpack overcame a three-point halftime deficit to down a cold shooting Robert Morris team, 81-69.

Bobby Mo didn’t start the game cold, though. For a good chunk of the first half, the game was reminiscent of NC State’s loss to UNCG, with the Colonials building confidence through early success from the perimeter. They hit seven threes in the first half to stave off NC State each time it started a rally.

But then the second half happened. The Colonials made only a three three-pointers over the final 20 minutes and finished the evening just 10-31 from beyond the arc. They couldn’t afford to go quite that cold and still win this game.

NC State was much worse from the perimeter (2-14), but the Wolfpack made nearly 55% of its two-point attempts and went to the free throw line 41 times. State also out-rebounded RMU by a significant margin, while the turnover column was nearly even.

Torin Dorn, Lennard Freeman, and Omer Yurtseven each recorded double-doubles and all three were efficient scoring inside the arc. Yurtseven managed his double-double in just 16 minutes, as he was battling foul trouble throughout the night.

So the Pack survived its second game without Markell Johnson, who remains suspended. It was more difficult than it had to be, but it was also much a much-needed bounce back performance after Saturday’s loss.