Round one of this Tobacco Road showdown gave fans all they could ask for as a back-and-forth affair resulted in a 79-76 win for NC State over rival UNC inside PNC Arena Tuesday night.
NC State improves to 5-1 overall (1-0 ACC), while UNC falls to 5-3, 0-1 ACC. Senior guard Devon Daniels paced the Pack with 21 points, followed by freshman Shakeel Moore with a career-high with 17 points.
Armando Bacot led four Tar Heels in double figures with 16 points, followed by RJ Davis and Caleb Love with 11 points.
The game started at the fast pace both teams wanted, with NC State taking an early lead at the first media break 11-8. The Wolfpack went on an 8-0 run to go ahead 23-15, before an Andrew Platek layup stopped the Pack run with UNC trailing 25-17 with 11:57 left in the half.
The hot shooting continued as NC State’s lead grew to 30-17. Freshman guard Shakeel Moore provided an immediate spark off the bench hitting his first five shots. The Wolfpack lead grew to as big as 44-29 with 4:05 left before the break. UNC would respond with a 13-3 run to close the half slicing the Wolfpack lead to just 49-42 after the first 20 minutes.
The UNC run continued as the Wolfpack saw their lead shrink to 53-48 with 15:24 left. The hot shooting from NC State cooled off tremendously, allowing UNC to cut the State lead to 59-57 with just over 11 minutes left in the second half. The Wolfpack followed with a huge 14-2 run to push their lead back up to 77-64 with just over five minutes left.
UNC again responded with a run, cutting the NC State lead to 77-73 with 2:45 left in regulation. The Tar Heels would have two attempts to tie the contest with under 10 seconds left, but would come up empty – allowing NC State to escape with the 79-76 win.
NC State returns to action on December 30 as they host Boston College. UNC also returns to the court on December 30, traveling to Georgia Tech.