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NC State ambushes Georgia Tech in 1st half, cruises to 76-61 victory

The losing streak, mercifully, is over.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 15 NC State at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When Terquavion Smith’s first three-point attempt went in, that was encouraging. When NC State scored the first 10 points of the game, that too was encouraging. The lead only grew from there as the Wolfpack hit an early groove, and it was the sort of nightmare first half that saw Josh Pastner use three of his four timeouts.

NC State extended its lead to 20 points midway through the half and led by 26 at the break.

Four Factors

... NC State GT
... NC State GT
eFG% 50.8 41.4
TO% 18.2 15.4
OR% 30.6 23.3
FTR 29.0 17.2

Pace and Efficiency

GT 61 71 85.9 107.0
NC State 76 71 107.0 85.9

Georgia Tech’s defensive effort was not great, and NC State was of a mind to take advantage. The Wolfpack’s perimeter shooting got the ball rolling, and there were also times when it looked like they had a layup line going out there.

Terquavion Smith was about as good as it gets early and scored 18 of his game-high 26 in the first half, though I can’t overlook Cam Hayes, who scored 12 first-half points on 5-7 shooting, including a pair of threes. He was excellent off the bounce and played like a difference-maker.

It tells you what kind of game this was that Dereon Seabron really did not have to do that much. He still managed to collect a double-double, because of course he did, but the pressure to carry the offense wasn’t there—Smith saw to that early, and State led by double figures for about 36 minutes.

Georgia Tech ain’t the worst offense in the league for nothin’. The Jackets fell behind by 30 early in the second half and were on the verge of some real serious embarrassment before collecting themselves enough to make the final score a bit more palatable.

But no doubt it would have been a more impressive margin had State not gone completely cold down the stretch, but hey, Kevin Keatts got his walk-ons in during an ACC road game, and the team is going for ice cream. That’s an ideal night.