A road win in league play with no sweating necessary in the last few minutes? This is nice. Feels good. Not even mildly agitated over here. We should do this more often.
Terquavion Smith delivered the dagger blows down the stretch with a couple of threes that sealed this one tight for the Wolfpack, the second of them pushing the lead to 14 with three minutes left. On a night where Georgia Tech couldn’t make anything from three, it wasn’t difficult for the Pack to salt those final few minutes away.
Pace and Efficiency
Given the way the second half went, you would hardly have guessed that NC State fell behind by 10 in the first half and didn’t take its first lead until close to halftime. Once the Pack got that lead, though, it never returned to Tech’s hands.
The Jackets mounted a rally in the second half that cut State’s margin to six points with six minutes, after the Pack spent a lot of the period leading by 8-12. NC State was up to that challenge, and more specifically, Baby T was there to make sure nothing silly happened.
T finished his night with 25 points on 9-17 shooting, while Jarkel Joiner scored 19 on the strength of 9-9 shooting at the free throw line. That was a major difference in this one, as the Pack put together a 17-20 performance at the stripe, while Georgia Tech shot 8-19.
Georgia Tech was really solid from about 12 feet and in—the Jackets grabbed a ton of offensive boards and shot 52% on twos—but struggled basically everywhere else. There’s never a good time to shoot 2-21 from three, and this was another one of those times where it wasn’t a good time to do that. The off-night from Miles Kelly (0-6 from deep) really didn’t help.
State could have played cleaner and Tech’s rebounding success was annoying, but I’m quibbling here. Great job all around to handle business on the road against an inferior team—always easier said than done. Now let’s get some ice cream.