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Pack Makes Clutch Plays to Take Down Virginia Tech

With the win, NC State improves to 8-7 (1-3 ACC) while Virginia Tech falls to 8-6 (0-3 ACC).
Credit: WFMY News 2 Sports

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The NC State men’s basketball team held Virginia Tech without a field goal for over four minutes in the final five minutes of the game to defeat the Hokies, 68-63, inside Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night. 

With the win, NC State improves to 8-7 (1-3 ACC) while Virginia Tech falls to 8-6 (0-3 ACC).

Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts gave the Hokies a 59-58 lead with 4:54 to play on a putback bucket. The Hokies would not make another field goal again until 34 seconds remained in the game.

On the next possession after the Hokies had taken the lead, NC State was relentless on the offensive glass, grabbing five offensive rebounds on the same possession before Ebenezer Dowuona scored his lone bucket of the game to put NC State back in front, 60-59.

The Pack would never trail again.

After forcing back-to-back turnovers on Virginia Tech possessions, Dereon Seabron made two free throws with 2:17 to play to put NC State in front by two.

The Hokies missed a three-pointer on its next possession and Seabron drove to the basket to put the Pack up five, 64-59, with 1:29 left.

After another empty possession from Virginia Tech, Ernest Ross soared high and gathered an offensive rebound for the Pack and laid it back in to put NC State in front by seven with 40 seconds to go.

Seabron posted his ninth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He finished the game 8-of-14 shooting and also had a team-high three assists.

Terquavion Smith added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Jericole Hellems finished with 15 points.

NC State had 11 of its 14 offensive rebounds in the second half and outrebounded the Hokies, 21-9, in the final 20 minutes. For the game, the Pack finished with a 36-26 rebounding advantage. 

NC State led for over 16 minutes in the first half. The Pack jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Virginia Tech responded with an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game, but NC State retook the lead on a Jericole Hellems jumper. With the Pack leading 14-13, Terquavion Smith scored NC State’s next 11 points to help the Pack take a 25-17 lead. Thomas Allen extended the lead to 10, 29-19, a few minutes later. Allen’s bucket was the last points of the half for NC State as Virginia Tech held the Pack scoreless over the final 5:11 of the half and ended the half on a 14-0 run to take a 33-29 lead into the break.The Hokies stretched their advantage to seven points, 41-34, early in the second half but NC State went on an 18-2 run to take a 52-43 lead on a Hellems lay-up with 12:45 to go.

NC State is back in action Saturday inside PNC Arena when it hosts Clemson. Tipoff is scheduled for noon and the game will be televised on Regional Sports Networks.