NC State never trailed in the final 10 minutes on Saturday but never led by more than four, either—it was a tight finish, and the Wolfpack made just enough plays to win. It was a Markell Johnson three with 3:21 remaining to give State a 75-72 edge that propelled the team to a 79-76 win.
And that was fitting, since it was the Pack perimeter offense that was the story this afternoon. NC State hit 14 of 27 three-point attempts, setting a season-high in made threes. The Pack needed that production because Pitt had no trouble making shots of its own, and the Panthers were fantastic at the free throw line as well.
State had a distinct advantage on the glass—save a last-minute possession where the Panthers grabbed like four offensive rebounds—and also finished ahead in the turnover column.
C.J. Bryce led the Pack in scoring with 21 on 6-11 shooting, including a 4-5 effort from three. Braxton Beverly made five of his nine three-point attempts and finished with 17. Torin Dorn had a dreadful performance at the free throw line (1-7), but was a solid 5-10 from the field and hit both of his three-point attempts. Perfect from deep, awful on the freebies—it was just that kind of game, I guess.
State blitzed the Panthers out of halftime and went ahead by 14, and it appeared the Pack might waltz home with an easy win, but then Pitt started draining threes and what was a 57-43 State lead with 15:44 left became a 61-59 Pitt lead with 11:09 to go.
Suffice it to say things had gotten away from the Wolfpack at that point, but Dorn came down and answered with a three to stop the bleeding, and the Pack would never trail again.
NC State heads home victorious and will try to get back even in league play against Syracuse on Wednesday.