Raleigh, NC – NC State players Dearon Seabron ,Casey Morsell and head coach Kevin Keatts were all asked if things were starting to look the same every game…late pushes where the Wolfpack can’t seem to get over that final hurdle to collect that needed win.
That was the exact same story Wednesday night as the NC State Wolfpack overcame an early deficit before falling to the Virginia Tech Hokies 62-59 inside PNC Arena.
Things started out as bad as they could for NC State (9-10, 2-6 ACC) as Virginia Tech (10-7, 2-4 ACC) opened up a 7-0 lead in the first four minutes of play. Things wouldn’t get any better as the Hokies lead grew to 13-0 with 14 minutes left in the opening half. Jaylon Gibson finally got the Wolfpack on the board with a basket inside before the next media timeout, making the score 17-2 in favor of Virginia Tech.
Gibson and Cole Hellems scored back-to-back baskets before Terquavion Smith drove and scored, making the score 17-8. The Hokies answered with back-to-back basket, extending their lead to 21-8 at the 7:41 media timeout. Virginia Tech continued to their offensive pressure, blowing the lead up to 31-13 before the Hokies took a 35-21 lead into the break.
The Wolfpack’s second half started way better than the first as they were able to slice the Hokie lead to single digits at 38-29 with just over 17 minutes left in regulation. Both teams traded baskets until the next media timeout with Virginia Tech holding a 45-38 lead with 13:37 remaining. Smith remained hot outside, adding another three to cut the Hokies’ lead to 50-44 with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
Hellems cashed in a pair at the charity stripe to cut the Hokies lead to 55-48 that sparked a 7-0 Wolfpack run, cutting their deficit to 55-53 with 5:31 left – forcing a Virginia Tech timeout. Storm Murphy added a crucial three before drawing an offensive foul on the other end with 2:03 left and the Hokies ahead 60-53.
Seabron proceeded to go on a 4-0 run, cutting the Hokies lead with 1:10 remaining. Seabron scored yet again inside with 20.3 left making the score 60-59 with Virginia Tech ahead. Sean Pedulla added two free throws for the Hokies pushing their lead back up to three at 62-59 with 12.3 left. After an NC State timeout with 8.7 left, Smith was forced to shoot a three near the top of the key that hit the back of the rim allowing the Hokies to escape with the 62-59 win.
The Wolfpack will look to get their first home ACC win as they host the Virginia Cavilers Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.