NC State has lived a charmed life this season, coming through time and again in tight games, rallying back from large deficits to stave off what looked like certain losses, but on Thursday, the good fortune ran out.
Not before the Wolfpack nearly delivered another improbable rally, of course. Camille Hobby’s last-second three off a broken play tied the game at 57 and forced overtime, giving the Wolfpack a chance to salvage a tough afternoon.
That came after NC State lost a tenuous 54-50 edge in the last ninety seconds and appeared doomed by a rough effort offensively. (If you’re just catching up, yes, this was a game in the 50s at the end of regulation.)
But give Virginia Tech a lot of credit: this is a group that has lost a bunch of close games and easily could have gotten down on itself after the setback at the end of regulation. Instead, the Hokies responded with an excellent five minutes of offense to finish off the upset. A bizarre technical foul on Wes Moore helped the Hokies put it away, but for a team that’s been short on breaks, they aren’t gonna mind.
NC State will look back on this one and lament how poorly it executed offensively for most of the day. The Pack played without Elissa Cunane again, but this time around didn’t get much from the rest of the regulars. Hobby was tremendous and nearly made the difference—she played the game of her life.
Kayla Jones was uncharacteristically absent, though, and Kai Crutchfield struggled. Raina Perez and Jakia Brown-Turner were good in spurts, but the bottom line is State didn’t get enough from the perimeter, shooting just 5-19 from three. Virginia Tech shot 11-29 from outside.
The Hokies also scored 26 points in overtime. Sometimes you just gotta tip your cap.