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NC State rallies from 10-point halftime deficit to beat Pittsburgh, 72-68

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hm?

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I watched this entire game and I have no idea how to explain it. NC State played so bad for about 30 minutes tonight that even crap was like, “don’t you dare make that comparison to me.” And, y’know, fair. That’s fair. The Wolfpack was just that bad.

Rebounding Is Important

Four Factors NC State Pitt
Four Factors NC State Pitt
eFG% 40.1 49.1
TO% 16.7 19.4
OR% 37.8 19.4
FTR 21.1 27.3

But State found offense in the last five minutes, and an 11-0 run put the Wolfpack back in front. Braxton Beverly had an atrocious night from the field, but it was his corner three that put State ahead for good, and the Pack went on to win, 72-68.

NC State started quickly and jumped out to a 12-6 lead before the first television timeout thanks to some excellent interior play from Omer Yurtseven, but then what I’ve come to realize is Classic Road State took over. The Wolfpack went ice cold, missing plenty of layups and also a lot of good three-point looks against Pitt’s zone look.

Pitt shot the ball with confidence in the first half, propelled by its defensive effort, and finished the first 20 minutes having made threes at a highly unusual rate. That established a 10-point lead for the Panthers at the break.

NC State did not so much as dent that lead for a significant chunk of the second half, but Pitt’s perimeter success disappeared—the Panthers made zero three-pointers in the second half—and State finally, finally found just enough offense to close the gap.

That was not pretty, not by even the most generous of descriptions, but State managed to find enough clutch baskets in the last four minutes to secure this victory and dodge a huge bullet. I still do not know how this happened, but it happened.

Omer Yurtseven led the Wolfpack with 16 points on 6-7 shooting. Al Freeman scored 13 and Torin Dorn added 12.

Phew.