ATLANTA – The NC State men’s basketball team pulled away in the second half to defeat Georgia Tech, 78-66, Tuesday evening at McCamish Pavilion.
The win was NC State’s fourth straight win and seventh victory in its last eight outings. The Pack is now 15-4 overall, 5-3 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets fall to 8-10, 1-7 in the ACC.
Terquavion Smith led NC State in scoring for the fifth consecutive game, finishing with a game-high 25 points. The Greenville, N.C., native shot 9-of-17 from the field and added a team-best five assists. Smith also tied his career-high with two blocked shots.
Smith has now scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games.
Jarkel Joiner added 19 points and three assists. The Oxford, Miss., native went 9-for-9 at the foul line for the game, including 8-for-8 in the second half as the Pack built its lead.
Casey Morsell stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 12 points, a team-high nine rebounds and a career-high three blocks.
D.J. Burns rounded out the NC State players in double figures, finishing with 10 points and added six rebounds and three assists.
The Pack got off to a slow start as the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 16-6 lead barely four minutes into the game. NC State cut the deficit to one multiple times over the next 10 minutes but could never get over the hump as Georgia Tech had a 35-30 lead with four minutes to play in the opening half.
NC State finally went on an extended run in the final minutes of the half, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 12-2 over the final 3:48 of the half to take a 42-37 lead into the break.
The Pack took its first lead of the game, 37-36, with a Smith finger roll with 2:03 left in the half.
NC State never trailed again.
Georgia Tech twice cut its deficit to three in the second half, but a 9-1 run gave the Pack its first double-digit lead of the game, 55-44, with 12:26 to play.
The Yellow Jackets made one last mini-run, getting within six, 63-57, with 6:16 to play, but NC State responded with a 12-2 run to end any threat.
NC State is back in action Saturday when it plays at North Carolina. Tipoff at Dean E. Smith Center is scheduled for 5 p.m., and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.