There wasn’t a lot of pretty basketball played by either team on Thursday night, but y’know what, we can forgive all of it when NC State wins. The Wolfpack closed the game against the Demon Deacons with an 11-0 scoring run that secured a 72-63 win.
Pack vs. Deacs
Omer Yurtseven set the pace for the Wolfpack offense with 22 points on 9-16 shooting in 28 minutes; he also grabbed eight rebounds. Markell Johnson added 13, Torin Dorn scored 11, and Braxton Beverly scored 10.
This was not a polished offensive effort from State, which completely lost sight of its limitations in the last 10 minutes of the first half as it hurled up three-pointer after three-pointer. Wake’s shift to zone defense accomplished what it wanted, and the Deacs came back from a nine-point first-half deficit to take a five-point halftime lead.
In the second half, State was a bit more measured but the game remained a back-and-forth affair well into money time, which is when the Deacs went cold. Wake Forest did not score a point in the last four minutes and went from up two to down nine at the final horn.
Doral Moore was excellent but Bryant Crawford finished 5-18 from the field, and overall the Deacs had a rough second half shooting the ball.
NC State wasn’t markedly better, but it is encouraging that the Pack survived this game while getting pretty much nothing from Malik Abu, Al Freeman, and Lennard Freeman. Kevin Keatts eventually settled into a small-ball lineup of Markell-Beverly-Batts-Dorn-Yurtseven, which ultimately made the difference.
NC State improved to 13-6 and 3-3 in league play with this win. Not bad.