NC State Travels to Virginia Tech
NC State concludes a two-game ACC road trip, as the Pack heads up to Virginia Tech to face the Hokies in the final road game of the season Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. NC State head coach Sidney Lowe is 4-2 all-time against the Hokies. The Pack has won six of the nine games against Virginia Tech since they joined the ACC in the 2004-05 season.
The Series Versus Virginia Tech
Wednesday’s contest between NC State and Virginia Tech will be the 47th meeting between the two schools, as the series dates back to 1914-15. NC State currently holds a 34-12 advantage in the series. The Pack is 19-4 at home versus the Hokies, 10-6 in games in Blacksburg, and 5-2 at neutral sites. The Pack is 3-2 all-time at Cassell Coliseum, last winning in 2006-07. Before the Hokies win in Raligh this season, NC State has not lost to Virginia Tech at home since the 1916-17 season, winning 19 straight in Raleigh. The Pack has won six of the nine meetings since the Hokies joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season, and 17 of the last 21 matchups overall.
Earlier This Season Versus Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech led from start to finish, as the Hokies won in Raleigh for the first time since 1917, with their 72-52 win at the RBC Center on February 10. The Hokies made their first 10 shots of the game and jumped out to a 26-7 lead nine minutes into the game. NC State would shoot a season-low 28.6 percent (20-70) from the field, and failed to make a three-pointer (0-11) for the first time in 655 games (1989 at Wake Forest). Dennis Horner had his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Last Time Out for NC State: NC State came back from nine down in the second half, as the Pack came away with a 71-66 win at Miami on Saturday. Miami held a 48-39 lead with 12:19 left to play, but the Pack would go on a 7-0 run, and capture the lead at 53-52 with 6:11 left. The game would eventually be tied 63-63 with 1:10 left, but the Pack would go on a 6-0 run and gain its second straight ACC win. The game was tied 30-30 at the half, and NC State would shoot 60.0 percent (12-20) in the second half, and hit all three of its three-pointers. Javier Gonzalez matched his career-high with 19 points, including hitting all six of his free throws in the final 42.7 seconds, and Tracy Smith added 19 points and seven rebounds.
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.
Second Half Leads to Wins
Before the Pack’s current two game ACC winning streak, NC State had lost seven straight ACC games, and its shooting performances in the second halves of all of those games were a major factor to the outcome. During its losing streak, NC State hit just 30.7 percent (67-218) of its second half shots in those seven straight ACC losses. NC State’s best showing was 42.3 percent in the second half at North Carolina, and in five of those seven losses NC State was under 30.0 percent. The Pack’s opponents combined to shoot 52.7 percent (97-184) in the second half of those games. The Pack was also outscored 283-199 (40.4-28.4) in those second halves, as the opponent scored more than the Pack in all seven of those contests. Things have turned around over the last two games, as the Pack downed No. 23 Wake Forest and won at Miami. Over the last two games, the Pack has hit 55.8 percent (24-of-43) from the field, and 80.0 percent (8-of-10) from three-point range in the second halves. Against No. 23 Wake Forest, NC State was up 28-18 at the half and went 12-of-23 (.552) from the field and 5-of-7 (.714) from three-point range to secure the win. At Miami, NC State was down nine with 12:19 left to play, but made eight of its final 12 shots. In the second half, State shot 60.0 percent (12-20) from the field, and hit all three three-pointers.