Raleigh, NC – In the case of “new year, new me,” NC State continued to show the same mistakes that mirror the end of 2021 as another late drought followed by a crucial turnover under 10 seconds sent NC State to their third straight ACC defeat – falling to the Florida State Seminoles 83-31 Saturday afternoon inside PNC Arena.
NC State jumped out to a 9-5 lead with baskets from Thomas Allen and Dereon Seabron. Seabron added a three to make the score 12-5 at the 15:18 media timeout. A cold 1-5 shooting start for the Seminoles led to their early deficit. A quick 4-0 run from FSU trimmed the NC State lead to 12-9 just 30 seconds after the break.
Both teams settled in trading baskets for a period, allowing FSU to stay close in spite of five early turnovers making the score 17-14 in favor of the Wolfpack with 11:30 remaining in the opening half. FSU took a brief lead before back-to-back threes from Terquavion Smith put NC State in front 23-21.
Smith’s third three of the half made the score 27-25 with just under eight minutes remaining before the half. Both teams traded three-pointers before Seabron cashed in on a dunk from Allen forcing an FSU timeout with 5:13 left on the clock with NC State ahead 34-30. FSU retook the lead with 3:10 left before halftime 37-36 and another steal and dunk forcing a Wolfpack timeout with NC State trailing 39-36. Seabron tied things again with a basket inside at 41-41. FSU scored just before the half to put the Seminoles ahead 43-41 at the break.
Smith started the second half on a mission scoring five straight points to put the Wolfpack ahead 47-43 with 17:27 left in regulation. A few empty possessions and turnovers from FSU allowed NC State to retain the lead at 49-45 at the next media break. FSU tied the game at 51 with 13:10 left on the clock with a basket inside. NC State responded to go ahead 58-51 after a three from Breon Pass with just under 11 minutes to go.
FSU quickly cut the deficit to 60-59 with 9:45 left in regulation. The Seminoles pulled ahead with a basket inside just before the under eight-minute timeout making the score 61-60. FSU’s lead grew to 67-62 before NC State took a timeout with 5:29 left. Seabron answered with a 5-0 run of his own to tie the game at 67 with just over five minutes left.
Smith tied the game at 72 with a three-pointer with 2:50 left before Seabron added a free throw to give NC State a 73-72 lead. FSU responded quickly to go back ahead 74-73. Seabron and Caleb Mills traded baskets putting FSU ahead 77-75 with 1:24 left in the game. After an NC State timeout, FSU added two free throws after a jump ball tie-up. Smith added a three to trim the lead to 79-78 before FSU collected an offensive rebound with 11.6 left and the foul. FSU split a pair at the line allowing NC State one last chance with 8.4 left.
Cole Hellems turned the ball over on the inbounds play sending FSU to the free-throw line with 4.6 left. FSU would split but NC State was called for a foul on the rebound sending the Seminoles back the line where they connected on both. Smith would hit a three at the buzzer but it would be too little too late as FSU escaped with the 83-81 win.
Seabron led all scorers with 32 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Smith followed with 23 points.
The Wolfpack return to action on January 4th as they travel to Virginia Tech in search of their first ACC win. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Blacksburg, VA.