Give NC State this much—of all the ways I had anticipated the team losing today, this was not one of those ways. The Wolfpack nearly led Purdue from start to finish, led by 13 in the second half, and had an eight-point advantage with four minutes left that it could not hang on to.
Purdue struggled most of the day from the field but really got its offense in gear down the stretch and into overtime, and the Pack just could not keep up. The Pack got a huge bucket from Dereon Seabron with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to put the team up two, but State then promptly gave up a rather easy drive and score for the tie.
After State was unable to do anything at the end of regulation, I wasn’t exactly stunned to watch the Boilermakers dominate overtime. It is not a good idea to give a better team five extra minutes to try and beat you, and Purdue had the obvious advantage mentally after the way regulation ended.
Alas. The result spoiled solid games from Terquavion Smith, Jericole Hellems, Cam Hayes, and Dereon Seabron. State was gonna need to make threes at a decent clip to have a chance and the guys stepped up and made it happen. Credit to them for doing that, and for holding the top-ranked team in the country at bay for almost an entire game. It’s just too bad they couldn’t finish.