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NC State escapes Boston College with 85-78 overtime win

That was fortunate!

Louisville v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

It was tough to shake the sense that tonight’s game might be something of a trap, what with Boston College existing somewhere in the last-four-in/last-four-out range of the NCAA field and desperate to pick up a major headlining win for the cause.

And it was BC that got the jump early, hitting 10 of its first 15 shots to take an 11-point lead into the second quarter. That lead would swell to 14 before NC State was able to start mounting a rally to narrow the gap to three by halftime.

Four Factors

... NC State Boston College
... NC State Boston College
eFG% 46.6 54.5
TO% 19.1 24.2
OR% 46.5 27.8
FTR 25.7 13.6

Pace and Efficiency

Boston College 78 79 98.7 107.6
NC State 85 79 107.6 98.7

The Eagles are pretty good offensively, though, and they were not backing down in the second half. State could have played a lot better in a variety of different ways—the defense stunk the first quarter, the outside shots weren’t falling, Elissa Cunane was an afterthought too often—and was really fortunate to be in a position to win this game late in regulation.

If the shooting figures didn’t tell you that already. To the Eagles’ credit, they gave NC State their best shot.

It was back-and-forth in the fourth quarter, and BC was in a pretty good spot up three with less than four minutes to go since State couldn’t buy even a wide-open jump shot. Kayla Jones scored a critical second-chance bucket, though, and later, Raina Perez gave the Pack a one-point edge with 58 seconds remaining when she bounced in a runner.

State subsequently got a stop and scored and seemed to have this in hand in regulation, but good execution by BC and a missed Cunane free throw pushed the game to overtime, the score knotted at 70.

In the OT, both Kai Crutchfield and Diamond Johnson came to the rescue, combining to score all the points in State’s decisive 9-0 run. It was Crutchfield’s three-point play with 1:20 left that pushed the lead to five and finally settled the matter.

There is a lot to dislike about State’s performance in this one, but in the end they showed their mettle on the road under some serious game pressure.