Don the sunglasses of triumph!
NC State’s offense came alive when it counted the most on Sunday, scoring 25 points over the final eight minutes to give the Wolfpack a relatively comfortable win over the Tar Heels.
Jack Clark’s three to give State the lead back got it all started with a little under eight to go, though NC State didn’t claim the lead for good until DJ Burns scored a couple minutes later to make it 62-60. That bucket sparked a 9-0 run that delivered control of the game to the Pack; fittingly, it was Jarkel Joiner who accounted for seven of those nine, including a huge three-pointer.
Jarkel was tremendous in this one, with 29 points on 11-21 shooting. He was 10-17 inside the arc and made all six of his free throw attempts. Led by that effort, State shot 51% inside the arc as a team. DJ Burns was 9-15 from the floor.
Terquavion Smith struggled to find his offense but that didn’t end up mattering, and he authored the highlight of the game when he dished the ball to Joiner for an alley-oop in transition to put the Wolfpack up double figures with a couple minutes left. The vibes are all good.
UNC, by contrast, struggled in the absence of scoring 36 points at the free throw line, forced in this case to live with a meager 18. The Heels shot just 37.5% on twos and finished 7-22 from deep, with a couple of those makes coming in the last minute after the matter had been decided.
Another big factor in this one was turnovers, or rather the lack of them for State, which only committed three. The Pack finished +10, which is just a tad better than the -1 margin it had in Chapel Hill. Hell of a job there.
And what a way to cap off an awesome NC State sports weekend. Have fun in the NIT, Armando.