Sometimes you need your bucket-getters to carry you—those guys who can contort themselves in impossible ways, who can pull up in difficult spots, who can handle difficult circumstances regardless, shot clock be damned, and make shots. Dereon Seabron and Terquavion Smith provided that boost for NC State on Wednesday night.
Pace and Efficiency
It was a defining night for Baby T, who hit a number of big shots in the second half as Louisville kept the game pressure on the Wolfpack. NC State took an eight-point lead into halftime, extended it after the break, then watched it shrink to a handful and become a back-and-forth game down the stretch.
Smith’s runner answered a Louisville 5-0 run and pushed State’s lead back to seven with 8:47 left. The shot that broke Louisville’s back was the ridiculous fadeaway corner three he canned to push State’s lead to nine with 5:30 left.
T finished with 24 points on 9-13 shooting, including 6-9 from three. Jericole Hellems, also a critical part of tonight’s win, poured in 19 on 7-10 shooting, including 5-7 from three. When those two guys are making jumpers to complement Dereon Seabron, who got going in the second half, then NC State is pretty good.
This was a really impressive performance offensively for a team that has struggled to make shots. Tonight, these guys made 62.5% of their twos and 48% of their threes. That’s a clinic. And that’s even with the five minutes of terrible basketball that came after the first TV timeout. Man, this was fun.
It didn’t look at all like it was going to be any fun whatsoever, and then NC State went on a 16-0 run to take control of the first half, and as it happened, the whole game. Never know with sports. Which is why they’re fun.