So much for a winning streak.
NC State had been on a nice run offensively over the last few games and initially Saturday, it looked like that might continue, as the Wolfpack started 3-3 from beyond the arc to take a 9-0 lead. Then the rest of the game happened.
State’s focus was never very good, and the result of that was a string of uncharacteristically careless turnovers in the first half that helped the Tigers find their footing. The Wolfpack couldn’t find any flow to its offensive attack, generally making life easy for Clemson defensively. It took like 15 minutes for State to make a two-point shot.
NC State hung tough, as usual, and fought back from behind—even briefly took the lead to start the second half. But the day was too much of a struggle, and Clemson was much better from the field. Free throws and offensive boards helped State keep the game in doubt, but when the Tigers went from up two with 6:30 left to up nine with 2:30 left, that was all she wrote.
Dereon Seabron did what he could, scoring 27 points on 9-20 shooting, but Thomas Allen was the only other State player to hit double figures, with 10. Terquavion Smith was a non-factor, finishing 0-7 from deep, while Jericole Hellems was 2-9 from the field. State can’t live like that.
For the game, NC State shot just 31.3% inside the arc, while Clemson shot 53.2%. Big man PJ Hall finished with 20 points on 10-16 shooting, as the Pack struggled once again to defend a big man with any sort of skill whatsoever. Clemson didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but its advantage in the paint was good enough today.
NC State returns to the court at Louisville on Wednesday.