Ernest Ross! Ernest Ross?!
Ernest Ross was the man making all the big plays in the waning moments for NC State, including the final five points of the afternoon, to carry the Wolfpack to a crucial home victory over Miami. Just as we all expected.
Ross’ offensive board and putback to put State up 82-81 with 30 seconds left in OT was the play of the game—also the decisive one.
Pace and Efficiency
Really drink in this box score when you have a chance, because it’s not often you will see a team overcome being badly outshot like this. If you are going to overcome that, this is how it’s done: win big in the turnover and rebounding categories and give your team a whole bunch more shots than the opponent. The Wolfpack ended with 24 more field goal attempts than Miami.
Ross had six offensive boards, two more than Miami’s entire team. He finished 8-10 from the field for a career-high 17 points.
Before we got to Hero Time for Ernest Ross, though, NC State appeared to be doing its best to re-enact what happened in Coral Gables. State once again played a solid first half against the Canes, once again took a good lead into the break—10 points, this time—and once again looked well on the way to frittering it all away. Miami did at least have the grace to get that process started more quickly this time.
The Pack managed to fend off Miami’s advances until it went on a scoring drought that lasted almost six minutes—by the time Ross finally put an end to it, Miami had the lead. NC State fought to take a three-point lead into the final minute ... which Miami erased with a Jordan Miller three that sent the game into Ross Time.
Doesn’t matter how it gets done, just that it gets done. This is a huge win for State’s NCAA tournament prospects, and it sure is nice to push above .500 in league play.