With six minutes and change remaining, NC State was down six points and looked to be on the way to squandering an opportunity against a Syracuse team that was playing without its leading scorer. Then Devon Daniels scored the next seven points by himself—including a banked-in three—to give State a one-point lead and seize control.
Perhaps not the likeliest turn of events, but you’re damn right we’ll take it.
Pace and Efficiency
The shooting was there for the second straight game, and it absolutely had to be, as NC State turned the ball over nearly a quarter of the time and got next to nothing from the offensive glass. But hey, sometimes shooting is all you need.
In the first half, it was CJ Bryce who kick-started the Wolfpack with perimeter shots while the team’s bigs struggled with foul trouble. In the second, it was Daniels, who led the rally and scored 15 points in the half. Those two guys were the difference, combining to shoot 13-22 from the field, including 6-12 from beyond the arc.
Markell Johnson didn’t have a great night, but had a highlight-reel assist in the first half and hit a huge three in the clutch to push a one-point edge to four with around three minutes to go. Bryce pushed the lead to seven with a three of his own the next time down, and the Pack was able to melt away a critically important road win from there.
We’ve seen the offense disappear for extended periods at the worst possible times this season, but that was not the case tonight, as NC State scored 20 points over the final eight minutes, out-scoring Syracuse by 10 in the process.
So State is back above .500 in ACC play and now owns the head-to-head on a team with which it is competing for an NCAA tournament slot. Pretty good night.