The NC State Wolfpack ended a season-long four-game losing streak holding on to defeat Wake Forest 72-67 Wednesday evening inside PNC Arena. The Wolfpack improved to 7-5 overall and 3-4 in ACC play while the Demon Deacons dropped to 4-7 overall and 1-7 in the ACC.
The Wolfpack finished the contest shooting 46% from the floor, while connecting on 7-of-14 from beyond the arc. NC State iced the game at the free-throw line going 19-for-27. Wake Forest shot 41% at 24-58 shooting while committing 21 turnovers. The Demon Deacons also won the rebound battle out-rebounding the bigger Wolfpack 34-29.
NC State applied their full-court pressure early, forcing two Wake Forest turnovers on their first two possessions before crossing half-court. The Demon Deacons responded with an 8-0 run to force an early Wolfpack timeout with 17:35 on the clock. The Wolfpack settled in to take a 14-13 lead with three-point baskets from Devin Daniels and Shakeel Moore with 13:49 remaining in the first half.
An 11-2 run from the Wolfpack gave them a 19-15 lead at the 11:05 media timeout. NC State extended its lead to 25-15 with 8:30 left. Both teams went on extended scoring droughts while NC State maintained a nine-point lead at 28-19 with 5:20 on the clock. The score remained the same as both team’s droughts went past over three minutes. Neither team got into any groove to close the half as NC State carried a 32-21 lead into the locker room. Daniels would be the lone bright spot on offense finishing the half with 15 points shooting going 5-for-7 from the floor including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
The Wolfpack got off to a good start out of the break, applying pressure defense that led to easy baskets to extend their lead to 40-25 with 16:28 left in regulation. A quick 5-0 run from Wake Forest cut the Wolfpack lead to 10 before Braxton Beverly ended the spurt with a three from the wing pushing the NC State lead back up to 13. The Wolfpack lead grew to as many as 17 at the 11:59 media timeout.
Daniels would leave the game with an apparent knee injury which would be followed by another drought from the Wolfpack, allowing the Demon Deacons to cut the NC State lead to 53-41 at the 7:15 mark of the second half. A basket from Wake Forest trimmed the lead to 10 before a three-point play from Cole Hellems make the score 56-43.
Wake Forest cut the Wolfpack lead to single digits followed by a three from Daivien Williamson forcing an NC State timeout after seeing their lead down to six at 58-52 with 3:35 left in regulation. Two free throws from DK Funderburk pushed the lead back to 10 before Williamson answered with another three making the score 62-55.
Shakeel Moore scored in the paint followed by another three from Williamson to make the score 64-58 with just 1:02 remaining. A Wake Forest basket with 54.5 left cut the NC State lead to 65-60. Hellems added two free throws extended the Wolfpack lead to 67-60. Wake answered with a quick basket but Thomas Allen scored on the other end to seal the deal for the Wolfpack who ended their losing skid with the five-point victory.
Daniels led the Wolfpack with 20 points before leaving the game. Hellems followed with 17 points. Daivien Williamson led all scorers tallying 22 points for the Deacons. Ismael Massoud followed with 13 points.
NC State returns to action as they travel to Syracuse Sunday evening for a 6 pm tipoff from the Carrier Dome.