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A bad fourth quarter spells heartbreak for NC State in Blacksburg

Liberty v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Well, we’ve been through the extremes over the last week, that much is for sure. The men’s team spent an entire game playing from behind only to snatch victory from defeat in the final minute on Wednesday, while the women’s team opted to do the exact opposite on Sunday.

It was a tough one to swallow, as the Pack was so very close to bringing home a big road win despite playing without River Baldwin—but it watched an 11-point advantage in the fourth quarter slowly disappear down the stretch as the offense dried up. NC State didn’t score a point for nearly eight minutes, right up until Saniya Rivers came to the apparent rescue with a bucket with 2.1 seconds left. Alas, it was still too much time to give the Hokies, who executed a perfect inbounds play to win it.

The loss hurts but doesn’t feel particularly demoralizing, because if anything that was an encouraging performance in difficult circumstances—until it fell apart, State was handling a tough road environment and a tough opponent really well, and for me that’s the takeaway.

This team is fine. Shit will happen and it certainly did yesterday, but the Pack showed again that it is one of the best teams in the country and has bigger things ahead of it. I’m sure they’ll bounce back from this just fine, and they’ll get their shot at revenge against Virginia Tech in a month, hopefully with Baldwin back in the lineup.