There’s nothing positive to be found in this one—a bad effort against a bad team led to a bad result. It’s definitely confounding to watch a team that just beat Louisville and Notre Dame play as poorly as NC State did Thursday night, but that makes it no less true.
State got exactly what it earned, which is the frustrating part. Georgia Tech played with more effort and consistently won the battles on the glass, which eventually proved the difference.
State was also just really bad offensively, firing up what felt like a record number of airballs, and it’s not like all of them were contested. I’m not even sure half of them were contested.
Diamond Johnson played well and had an excellent third quarter to try to rescue her team from disaster, but everybody else wearing a State uniform flat out stunk. I’m not sure why effort is such a problem for a team that very obviously doesn’t have the luxury of being able to just turn it on whenever. When the inconsistent energy mixes with poor execution, you get a game like this one.
NC State got out to a 16-8 lead, then Tech went on a 15-2 run to end the first quarter, then NC State went on a 12-0 run to start the second quarter, and the game was tied 33-33 at halftime. State pushed out ahead again by a couple possessions in the third thanks to DJ’s efforts, but Tech led by one going into the fourth.
It was back and forth right down to crunch time, but by then it was difficult to escape the feeling that State had blown it. Which it had.