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NC State rolls past Wake Forest, 80-62

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Keatts may have his problems, but they tend not to crop up against Wake Forest, and Saturday afternoon was no exception. NC State out-classed the Deacs for the vast majority of the game, resulting in a comfortable win for the Wolfpack. State’s biggest lead, at 80-55, came in the waning minutes.

That’s a successful road trip.

Four Factors

... NC State Wake
... NC State Wake
eFG% 56.9 47.2
TO% 16.3 28.1
OR% 34.4 33.3
FTR 32.8 24.1

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Wake 62 68 91.2 117.6
NC State 80 68 117.6 91.2

The game saw a ragged start from both teams, with some over-eager offense leading to a number of sloppy turnovers. State and Wake traded shots for a while—when they actually got shots—but State began to turn this one around the midpoint of the first half off of back-to-back threes from Cam Hayes.

The game was deadlocked at 14 with about 12 minutes left, and four minutes later, NC State held a 29-18 lead. Wake made a push to close to within 35-27, but the Pack finished the half strong.

Wake’s ball security problems were at the fore once again, which is a credit to State’s ball pressure and overall defensive effort. There were a number of live-ball turnovers that gave State some easy transition opportunities to cash in, and the team’s confidence grew throughout the game.

It helped that NC State shot 6-10 from three and 11-12 from the free throw line in the first half, and while those were unusually good performances, it was nice to see the guys pay off their defensive work with results at the other end.

NC State had five players in double figures, led by Jericole Hellems and Dereon Seabron, who each had 14. Seabron logged a season-high 34 minutes today, making two games in a row he’s been on the court for 30-plus. Seabron added nine boards, four steals, and three assists. Just a really impressive game from him all around.

The Wolfpack has its first winning streak since late December, and has won three straight on the road for the first time in like 19 years, so that ain’t bad.

Good win today—let’s go get some ice cream.