When NC State takes the court tonight against Virginia Tech, it will be exactly three weeks since the Wolfpack got its last conference win, an 88-74 triumph over Duke Jan. 20. If there was ever a time when the Wolfpack need a win, it would be now. State (14-10, 2-7) has dropped four straight ACC games since the win over the Blue Devils, scoring just more than 61 points a game and losing by an average of 10 points a contest.
For the Pack to pick up a win over the Hokies (18-4, 5-3), who have become a viable contender in the league recently, the trends from the last four games — scoring droughts, defensive lapses, poor shooting nights — have to stop.
A potential key for tonight’s game will be the health of guard Farnold Degand. Degand did not play against Georgia Tech Saturday due to a deep thigh bruise and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
For thoughts on the game from the Virginia Tech side of the equation, check out Gobbler Country.
NC State Hosts Virginia Tech
After two straight ACC road games, NC State returns to home action when the Pack plays host to Virginia Tech Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. NC State head coach Sidney Lowe is 4-1 all-time against the Hokies. The Pack has won six of the eight games against Virginia Tech since they joined the ACC in the 2004-05 season, including all three games held in Raleigh. The two teams have met once each of the last two seasons. NC State won in Raleigh in 2008, 73-63, while Virginia Tech won at home in overtime last season, 91-87. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU with Carter Blackburn and LaPhonso Ellis.
The Series Versus Virginia Tech
Wednesday’s contest between NC State and Virginia Tech will be the 46th meeting between the two schools, as the series dates back to 1914-15. NC State currently holds a 34-11 advantage in the series. The Pack is 23-6 at home versus the Hokies, 6-4 in games in Blacksburg, and 5-1 at neutral sites. NC State has not lost to Virginia Tech at home since the 1940-41 season, and has won all three games since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004-05. The Pack has won six of the eight meetings since the Hokies joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season, and 17 of the last 20 matchups overall.
Last Season Versus Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech overcame an 18-point deficit in the final 14 minutes of regulation, and defeated NC State in overtime, 91-87, in Blacksburg, Va., on February 8. NC State held its biggest lead of the game, 61-43 at the 14:14 mark, but the Pack would turn the ball over 12 times in the final 13 minutes and were outscored 33-15 in that span. A.D. Vassallo tied the game with 17.9 seconds left, and NC State’s last shot attempt was blocked. Virginia Tech outscored the Pack 15-11 in the extra five minutes, hitting all five of its free throws in the final minute. Ben McCauley finished with game-highs of 25 points and 15 rebounds, and Courtney Fells added 17 points.