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NC State wins ACC opener against Clemson, 77-59

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The absences of Diamond Johnson and Jada Boyd were just a smidge more apparent on Sunday night as NC State had its hands full with Clemson for extended stretches. While the Wolfpack led the entire second half, its lead shrunk to three points near the end of the third quarter and this was just a seven-point game with 7:30 left.

Four Factors

... NC State Clemson
... NC State Clemson
eFG% 58.5 39.0
TO% 27.0 14.9
OR% 35.5 21.7
FTR 23.7 13.2

Pace and Efficiency

Clemson 59 74 79.7 104.1
NC State 77 74 104.1 79.7

Fortunately, NC State was finally able to pull away down the stretch with a 13-0 run that was keyed by Madison Hayes, who had an excellent game. The Pack held Clemson to six points in both the second and the fourth quarter, which was the difference.

The Pack finished -9 in turnover margin, and that definitely would have had them in deep trouble if they didn’t shoot the ball so much better than the Tigers. Forcing turnovers is a strength of Clemson’s defense and State didn’t handle that challenge well.

But State also shot 58.3% inside the arc and 39.1% from three. Hayes led all scorers with 20 points on 7-13 shooting, while Mimi Collins scored 16 and grabbed nine boards. Hayes’ improvement this season has been really impressive.

The ladies are off until Dec. 29, a much-needed respite that will hopefully get Boyd and Johnson to get back on the court.