NC State Pushes Past Pitt, 79-76 - SCACCHoops.com

NC State Pushes Past Pitt, 79-76

by Stephen Gertz

Posted: 2/9/2019 5:56:55 PM


Game Central

Game Recap

On a day in which the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-12, 2-9) tried to get another notch in the win column, they couldn’t get out of their own way early in the game. Despite an early 6-5 lead, Pitt turned the ball over on their next three possessions which allowed the North Carolina State Wolfpack (17-7, 5-6) to go on a 5-0 run. NC State looked to get some separation early until guard Jared Wilson-Frame drilled a step back three-pointer. Forward Terrell Brown followed that up by connecting on his second three-pointer of the season to tied the game at 14 all going into the under-12 media timeout.

The Wolfpack hit the offensive glass, looking for second-chance opportunities. The Panthers looked to guard Xavier Johnson, and he delivered with his signature attack mentality. A pretty behind-the-back-wrap-around layup ignited the crowd and gave Pitt a 23-19 lead at the 8:15 mark.

Both teams traded blows for the remainder of the half, neither team was able to take more than a two possession lead: The Panthers were up by as many as 4, while NC State never led by more than 6. The Wolfpack went into the half leading 41-38.

NC State wasn’t satisfied with their one possession lead as they connected on their first three attempts in the second half, an 8-2 run and a 49-40 advantage. Head coach Jeff Capel took a quick timeout, but it only helped for a very short stint. The Wolfpack continued their onslaught from beyond the arc. By the under-16 media timeout, NC State had converted four, three-pointers, and had a 57-45 lead.

It would be the upperclassmen for Pitt that would settle the team and right the ship. Guards Sidy N’Dir and Wilson-Frame that would help ignite a 16-2 run that gave the Panthers a brief 61-59 lead. In what became a half of runs, the Wolfpack answered with a 11-5 run of their own, powered by three makes from beyond the arc.

A layup by Wilson-Frame tied the game with 3:53 remaining, but a three-pointer by Markell Johnson put NC State back up 3 and ended up being the little bit of breathing room his team needed to pull out a 79-76 victory. On another loss in a close game late, head coach Jeff Capel said, “We have a very, very, very small margin of error.”

Johnson led the way with a team-high 17 points, while all five starters reached double-figures. Wilson-Frame finished with 16 points on a very efficient 6-7 from the field, including 4-5 from long distance.

The Wolfpack were led by the game-high 20 points from guard C.J. Bryce. As a team, they shot 14-27 (51.9%) on three-pointers for the game.

On the hot outside shooting of NC State, N’Dir said after the game, “We lost number 10, Beverly, a lot in the zone, and we had to do a better job on that. They knocked down tough shots as well.”

Wilson-Frame added, “We have to rebound better too.”

Capel on the Wolfpack’s three-point shooting: “We played the percentages on a couple of them and they stepped up and they made some.”

Pitt will look to rebound on Tuesday on the road against the Boston College Eagles (11-11, 2-8). Kevin Keatts, head coach of the Wolfpack, does believe the Panthers are trending in the right direction: “Look, their record doesn’t indicate how good they are. They play hard. They remind me of my team year one.”

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author @Stephen_Gertz

 

This article was originally published at http://cardiachill.com (an SB Nation blog). If you are interested in sharing your website's content with SCACCHoops.com, Contact Us.

 



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