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NC State Dispatches Louisville, 79-63

Freshman Terquavion Smith led NC State with 24 points, hitting 9-of-13 field goals, including 6-of-9 from long distance.
Credit: WFMY News 2 Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The NC State men’s basketball team never trailed in the second half and pulled away late to defeat Louisville, 79-63, inside the KFC Yum! Center on Wednesday night.

Freshman Terquavion Smith led NC State with 24 points, hitting 9-of-13 field goals, including 6-of-9 from long distance. 

Senior Jericole Hellems 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. He added a career-high three blocked shots.

Sophomore Dereon Seabron also reached double figures with 15 points and led the team with seven rebounds and five assists.

 NC State shot a season-high 56.1 percent from the field in the win.

 NC State opened the second half with an 8-0 run to take a 16-point lead, 43-27, and force a Louisville timeout.

 The Cardinals came roaring back, making 10 of its next 11 shots to close within five, 54-49, with 9:02 play.

But Smith had an answer for every Louisville run. He hit a jumper to push the Pack’s lead up to seven and then made a three-pointer the next time down to give NC State a 59-50 lead with 8:01 to go. 

Louisville cut its deficit to 61-55, but Smith again responded, nailing a three from the corner to push the Pack’s lead back to nine with 5:30 remaining.

The Pack led by eight at the final media timeout and it was the senior’s turn to take over as Hellems scored the next five points of the game to push NC State’s lead out to 13 and effectively end any hopes for a Louisville comeback.

 The Pack went on a 16-0 run midway through the first half to turn a three-point deficit into a 13 point lead. Jericole Hellems started the run with a three-pointer and Terquavion Smith buried a three on NC State’s next possession to give the Pack a 21-18 lead. Thomas Allen rebounded a Smith miss on the Pack’s next possession and laid it in to extend NC State’s run. Hellems stole the ball on Louisville’s next possession and Dereon Seabron found a streaking Ernest Ross for a lay-up to give NC State a 25-18 lead and force a Cardinals timeout. 

 After the timeout, Smith buried back-to-back three-pointers to give NC State a 31-18 lead with 5:13 left in the first half. 

Louisville ended the half on a 9-4 run to cut its deficit to 35-27 at the break. The eight-point halftime lead for NC State tied for its largest of the season.

The Pack is back in action Saturday afternoon when it plays at eighth-ranked Duke. Tipoff against the Blue Devils is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised on ABC.

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