NC State shot just 35% from the floor in the second half including 27% from beyond the arc continuing a trend of sloppy second-half play. Again, it proved costly as the Wolfpack lost a second-half lead for the second game in a row, dropping its second straight ACC game to the Miami Hurricanes 64-59 Saturday afternoon inside PNC Arena.
The Hurricanes outshot the Wolfpack for the game 46% to 37% while NC State won the rebound battle 38-30. The Wolfpack committed 16 turnovers for the second straight contest with 12 of those 16 coming in the first half.
Things didn’t start well for the Wolfpack as they produced three turnovers and no field goals in the first three minutes of the game trailing early 4-0. NC State settled in and responded with a 7-0 run over the next 90 seconds, taking a 7-4 lead into the first media break.
The NC State run would continue as Manny Bates blocked a shot on one end and finished with an alley-oop from Cam Hayes to force a Miami timeout trailing 14-6 with 12:46 left in the half. The timeout proved beneficial as the Hurricanes went on a quick 4-0 run in 15 seconds to trim the score to 14-10. NC State remained ahead but not by much as the Canes hung around facing a 20-18 deficit with 8:22 left before intermission.
Thomas Allen ended a two and a half minute scoring drought with a three-point basket that touched every part of the rim before bouncing in putting NC State ahead 25-21 with four minutes left. The Hurricanes, who were playing without guards Chirs Lykes and Kam McGusty, hung close with efforts from Isaiah Wong and Matt Cross.
The Hurricanes eventually tied the game at 29 all with a three-point play with just under two minutes left before halftime after forcing the Wolfpack’s 11th of their 12 first-half turnovers. Both teams traded baskets to end the half with NC State holding a slim 32-31 lead at the break.
Bates opened the second half with back-to-back baskets for the Wolfpack, but both were answered by Miami who held a 38-36 lead with 17:20 left on the clock. NC State found themselves down four going through a three-minute scoring drought before Allen again stopped another Wolfpack dry spell. That Allen field goal would be one of just nine during a spurt that allowed Miami to take a 45-40 lead into the 11:44 media timeout.
The Wolfpack responded with a 9-0 run to pull back in front 49-45 with 7:50 remaining in regulation. Cross knocked down a key three-pointer to cut the NC State lead to 51-50 before Devon Daniels answered with a three of his own – pushing the Wolfpack lead to 54-50 with 4:13 left.
Miami’s offense found a grove and went on an 8-0 run to go ahead 58-54 with 1:09 left. Allen added another three to cut the Miami lead to 58-57 with 57 seconds left. Miami got a tip-in basket with 30 seconds left to go-ahead three. After a Wolfpack miss and foul, Earl Timberlake added two free throws with 17.1 left to put the Hurricanes ahead 62-57. Another State miss led to two more free throws and a late basket that would not be enough for the Wolfpack to prevail as Miami ended their three-game losing streak.
Allen and Funderburk led the Wolfpack on offense with 14 and 12 points both in reserve action. Funderburk also finished with 11 rebounds. Bates followed with 9 points and 8 rebounds respectively. Wong led all scorers with 24 points and 9 rebounds for Miami. Timberlake rounded out the double-figure scoring Hurricanes with 14 points including a few free throws to ice the game late.
The Wolfpack are back in action Wednesday, January 13 as they travel to Florida State.