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NC State fends off Virginia Tech to pull out 76-69 victory

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The Pack had to earn every bit of this one.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 23 Div I Women’s Championship - First Round - Maine v NC State Photo by Michael Berg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I don’t know how good Virginia Tech will be in the final accounting, but on Thursday night the Hokies looked every bit the part of an NCAA tournament team. They led by three with less than four minutes remaining before NC State started a 9-0 run to seize control.

Factors

Four Factors NC State VT
Four Factors NC State VT
eFG% 50.8 56
TO% 15 25.9
OR% 21.1 19.4
FTR 27.4 8.6

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
NC State 76 73 104.1 94.5
VT 69 73 94.5 104.1

Tech was the better shooting team tonight, hitting 40% from three while making more than half of its twos. It was a good recipe for an upset, and the Hokies built a 14-point lead in the second quarter, but turnovers proved really costly. Virginia Tech finished -8 in turnover margin, and in a close game, that was enough to turn the tide in State’s direction.

The Wolfpack looked sluggish at best in the first quarter as the open shots weren’t falling and they ran some pretty bad offense in general, but the ladies scored 48 points in the second half, led by a great performance from Elissa Cunane, who finished with 28 points. Her 9-11 shooting at the free throw line was critical.

Virginia Tech never quit fighting and after falling behind 48-40 in the third quarter, closed the margin to 50-49 in State’s favor by the end of the period. It was anybody’s ball game with three minutes left, and I’m sure the Hokies would have taken that every time. NC State just made all the big plays in those last few minutes to come away with the victory.