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‘Relentless’ NC State looks for fifth straight home win vs. Clemson

Sportsnaut
Feb 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Dereon Seabron (1) warms up against the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Dereon Seabron (1) warms up against the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts undoubtedly hopes his team continues to put forth a relentless effort on Saturday when the Wolfpack host Clemson in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Raleigh, N.C.

The Wolfpack (8-7, 1-3 ACC) adopted relentless as the “team word” prior to Tuesday’s game at Virginia Tech, then put forth its best defensive effort of the season in a 68-63 victory that snapped a three-game conference losing skid.

“You could tell our guys were sick of losing games at the end and we found a way to win — they were relentless,” Keatts said. “Our previous three ACC games, we’ve been right there; we just haven’t been able to close them out. So relentless is our word for now.”

NC State, which has gone 1-5 since a 7-2 start, has come up short in some close contests. The Wolfpack lost to Louisville by five points and by two against Florida State.

Now they’ll attempt to post back-to-back league victories for the first time this season against a Clemson team that’s coming off a 10-point home loss against Virginia.

The Tigers (9-5, 1-2) have lost four in row against the Wolfpack in Raleigh. Clemson coach Brad Brownell is anticipating another close finish in the rivalry, which has seen the teams split their past 10 meetings. Four of the past six games between the teams have been decided by four points or less.

“Winning is hard, these games are hard,” Brownell said. “Games come down to a few possessions, a couple of minutes.”

Saturday’s game will pit the league’s top three-point shooting team — Clemson at 41.3 percent — against one of worst — NC State at 31.8. But the Wolfpack have kept games close by relying on emerging star Dereon Seabron, who is ranked third in the ACC in scoring at 19.7 and second in rebounding at 10.1.

–Field Level Media