After falling 59-47 to Virginia Wednesday night in Charlottesville, NC State (14-9, 2-6) hits the road again Saturday afternoon to take on the No. 21 Yellow Jackets in the “Thriller Dome.” Ga. Tech (16-6, 4-4) fell 86-67 to Duke in Durham Thursday night and will have a quick turnaround for Saturday’s match up with the Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack needs a win in the worst way and will look to reverse its fortunes against the Yellow Jackets. State has lost three straight ACC games since the upset over Duke Jan. 20. If NC State does in fact hope to get that done, the offensive effort will have to be much better than it was Wednesday night against the Cavaliers. The Wolfpack shot just 35 percent from the field Wednesday and went only 2-11 from behind the arc.
NC State will need to limit fouls against Ga. Tech, especially in the paint, as Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors lead the Jackets in both scoring and rebounding. Lawal averages just over 14 points and Favors notches 11, with both players hauling in more than 8 rebounds a night. If NC State gets in foul trouble early it could be a long afternoon in Atlanta.
NC State Travels to Georgia Tech
NC State hits the road for the second time this week, as the Pack travels to Atlanta to face No. 21 Georgia Tech on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. NC State started its week with a 59-47 loss at Virginia on Wednesday, and will be looking for its third straight win over Georgia Tech this weekend. The Yellow Jackets are the fourth ranked opponent the Pack will face this season. NC State previously won at No. 25 Florida State and won at home against No. 7 Duke, and fell at home to No. 24 Clemson. The game will be broad casted on Raycom with Tim Brandt and Eddie Fogler.
The Series Versus Georgia Tech
Saturday’s matchup will mark the 85th meeting between NC State and Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack leads the overall series 50-34. NC State has won the last two matchups, and the Pack has also won nine of the last 13 meetings dating back to the 2002-03 season. Georgia Tech holds a 20-14 advantage in games in Atlanta. However, the Pack has won three of the last five games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, including last year, 86-65.
Pack and Jackets Play it Close
Although the Wolfpack has won nine of the last 12 games against Georgia Tech, the scores of those games have been relatively close. NC State’s largest win in those seven games was last season’s 21 point win in Atlanta, and only two of those last nine wins were in double figures. Three of the last seven games between the teams have been decided by no more than three points. Georgia Tech won in 2008 and in 2006 by three points each time, and the Wolf-pack came away with a two point win at Georgia Tech in 2005. Last season’s game in Raleigh had the Pack winning 76-71 in overtime.
Last Season Versus Georgia Tech
NC State won both games during the regular season. NC State used a late surge to overcome a 10-point second half defecit, and downed Georgia Tech in overtime at the RBC Center, 76-71, on January 17. The Yellow Jackets held a 64-54 lead with 4:40 remaining, but the Pack would close the game on a 13-3 run to force overtime thanks to a three-point play by Farnold Degand with 30 seconds left. NC State would outscore Georgia Tech in the extra period 9-4, with Dennis Horner scoring five of the Pack’s final six points. Brandon Costner paced the Pack withh 22 points, while Ben McCauley added 18 points and 10 rebounds. NC State used its top shooting performance of the season, 61.4 percent (27-44) from the field, and picked up its largest ACC road win since 1989 in defeating Georgia Tech, 86-65, on February 14. Six Wolfpack players scored in double figures. Tracy Smith recorded his second straight double-double, finishing with game-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Yellow Jackets took a 11-5 lead to start the game, but NC State used a 35-13 run to go into the half up 44-33. In the second half, NC State hit 12-of-18 shots, and was 16-of-19 from the free throw line.
Oh yea. Remember this.