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NC State scraps its way to a 51-42 win at Wake Forest

Not pretty, but useful all the same.

Syndication: The Fayetteville Observer Luke Johnson / USA TODAY NETWORK

That was, let’s see, what’s a kind way of putting that game? It was an experience. It certainly happened. Basketball occurred. Well, mostly.

NC State went without a made three-pointer for the first time in over a decade yet still managed to outdo Wake Forest, which had plenty of scoring problems of its own. It was a rough one all around, with both teams going through some real painful stretches at the offensive end.

But the Wolfpack took better advantage of the free throw line, finishing 13-16, and the Wolfpack had Saniya Rivers, who had a big third quarter to help State build a cushion on the scoreboard.

Eight of Rivers’ game-high 12 points came in the third, and she also had a nice steal and dish to Camille Hobby in transition. She was the difference as NC State pushed ahead by as many as 11, but the Pack never could completely put away the Deacs, on account of more wildly inconsistent offense.

The first half of the third was State’s best stretch of the night by far, and though Wake did manage to stay within striking distance in the fourth, the whole thing was rather anticlimactic as both teams traded bricks one after another. After Wake fell down by 11 in the third, it never got any closer than six points the rest of the way—though not for lack of opportunity.

Wake leading scorer Jewel Spear was just 5-24 from the field, which was a combination of good defense and good fortune on State’s part. The Deacs aren’t at a point where they can reliably create offense when Spear isn’t playing well.

Diamond Johnson was 0-5 from three but did shoot 3-5 inside the arc, and Hobby was 4-7 from the field. Jada Boyd finished 1-6 shooting but her aggressive play got her to the line frequently, and she shot 7-8 there.

Let’s hope the offense is feeling a bit more scorey at UVA on Sunday.