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NC State guts out 86-80 win over Pittsburgh


NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at N.C. State Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Adversity can strike in some unexpected ways, and also strike in a hurry. Two minutes into the game Saturday, NC State lost Wyatt Walker, who was ejected for intentionally tripping a Pittsburgh player. A little over halfway through the opening half, Markell Johnson took a scary tumble after going for a block in transition. He would not return.

Team Factors

Four Factors NC State Pitt
Four Factors NC State Pitt
eFG% 47.2 50.9
TO% 17.2 22.5
OR% 45.6 28.1
FTR 35.2 50.9

Scoring and Efficiency

NC State 86 76 113.2 105.3
Pitt 80 76 105.3 113.2

Not surprisingly, the game was as struggle at times for the Wolfpack as it was forced to adjust to losing two starters. To Pitt’s credit, the Panthers made the best of it, and led with as little as six minutes remaining.

An Eric Lockett three gave State a 63-61 lead with 5:43 remaining, and the Wolfpack would not trail again. The Pack really struggled to shoot the ball coming out of halftime, but it got the clutch jump shots it needed down the stretch to pull away from the Panthers and hold on for the victory. After Lockett’s three, Torin Dorn and Braxton Beverly followed with triples of their own.

In the first half, Devon Daniels provided essential offense for State after Markell left. Daniels finished with 19 points, nearly all of which came in the opening 20 minutes.

Over the last 20 minutes, both DJ Funderburk and Eric Lockett stepped up to help the Pack escape the day’s difficult circumstances. Funderburk did an excellent job in relief of Walker—State could not afford Funderburk to be limited by fouls, and that never was a major issue. He finished with 18 points and nine boards. Lockett had 17.

It was a collective effort out of necessity today, and give the guys credit for fighting through everything to deliver an essential win. Pitt is much improved, but State couldn’t afford to drop a game like this at home.