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NC State holds off ferocious rally, edges Virginia Tech

Jan 7, 2023; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward D.J. Burns Jr. (30) drives to basket against Virginia Tech Hokies center Lynn Kidd (15) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Jarkel Joiner scored 12 of his 21 points in the final eight minutes as North Carolina State held off a late rally by Virginia Tech in a 73-69 victory on Saturday night in Blacksburg, Va.

Terquavion Smith scored 22 points and hit two free throws with six seconds left as NC State (13-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) completed a week in which it defeated the defending champions of the ACC regular season (Duke) and ACC tournament (Virginia Tech).

Casey Morsell added 15 points and Joiner had eight rebounds as the Wolfpack led the entire game to notch their first true road win of the season.

Sean Pedulla scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to lead a rally by Virginia Tech (11-5, 1-4), which was down 14 points at the half.

NC State led 65-54 after Smith hit a turnaround jumper with 1:12 left. But Darius Maddox drilled a trio of 3-pointers, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the final 1:03 as the Hokies staged a furious rally.

The Hokies cut the deficit to three points on five occasions in the final 47 seconds, but the Wolfpack remained in charge as Joiner made 5 of 6 free throws over the last 38 seconds.

NC State opened the game with a 13-2 rush that was fueled by Smith, who had two 3-pointers and a pair of steals, and Morsell, who added two buckets, one a trey.

Lynn Kidd, who came off the bench to finish with a career-high 14 points, answered for Virginia Tech, making his first six shots.

But over the final 8:30 of the half, the Wolfpack outscored the Hokies 16-7. Smith tallied seven of the points, D.J. Burns Jr. (10 points) added two baskets and Morsell closed the run with a three-point play as NC State surged to a 36-22 lead at the break.

At the half, NC State had 11 points off turnovers compared to zero for Virginia Tech.

The Hokies opened the second half with seven straight points to make it 36-29.

–Field Level Media