In a home loss against a depleted opponent, a team that sportswriters determined to be one of the top-25 teams in the country couldn’t muster a point total much higher than their ranking. No. 23 NC State dropped an absolute deuce of a game against No. 12 Virginia Tech, 47-24, for an abhorrent offensive performance not seen from this team since the Johnson administration.
The Wolfpack split up this shitshow with 14 points in the first half, and 10 in the second. They shot 9-of-54 (16.7 percent) from the field and 2-of-28 (7.1 percent) from three. Junior guard C.J. Bryce was the only NC State player who hit three shots from the field (3-of-13 shooting). On the other end of this minuscule shooting spectrum was sophomore Braxton Beverly, who shot 0-for-12 from the field and 0-for-9 from three. Everyone else was somewhere in between.
It’d be one thing if this was because the Hokies did an impressive job shutting down their opponents, but the Wolfpack really just missed everything they threw at the rim. A lot of them were just centimeters off of going in like this shot from Beverley:
In fact, it was NC State that came out with the strong defense to start the game, forcing four quick turnovers and attempting a shot at the end of each one. Unfortunately the team only managed to convert one of those early chances. After the team went 1-for-17 and 0-for-11 from three to start the game, the Wolfpack crowd was basically stunned silent.
Who could blame them? This scoring output was the lowest that N.C. State had put forth in a regular season game since the program joined the ACC in 1953. Historically, however, the 24 points was still not the lowest point-total the program had ever put up. In the 1968 ACC Tournament, the Wolfpack put up 12 points against Duke in what amounted to a two point victory. In other words, no one in the student section was alive the last time their team stunk this badly in a game.
Let’s not ignore Virginia Tech’s role in this abomination either. Credit to the Hokies for getting the win without their second-leading scorer, Justin Robinson, but that’s where any positive spin on this game should stop. Any ranked team should consider holding their opponent below double digits for most of the first half a rout, but when the Wolfpack finally got to 10 points with 5:40 remaining in the first half, they cut the Hokies’ lead down to two. Virginia Tech had so many chances to run away with this game that the 23-point victory ultimately seems underwhelming.
Maybe NC State pushing Virginia to overtime last week was a fluke after all.