|First Half||Second Half||OT||Final|
This afternoon the Yellow Jackets took on the NC State Wolfpack on the road at PNC Arena. Both teams had come off of conference wins and were looking to extend their win streak to 2 games. If you missed this one, I'm sorry because this game was one to remember. An overtime loss for the Jackets was tough to swallow after leading for most of the game, but another lesson learned I guess?
I have been talking about this for a while, but prior to this game Gregory still had one milestone that he needed to get in my opinion, two back to back ACC games. The ironic thing about this was that with a win today, Gregory not only would have gotten back to back ACC wins, but both would have been on the road. Still looking for this, but I am sure that it will come very soon.
The game was very exciting though. After a middle of the 1st quarter run, the Jackets entered half with a 5 point lead. The lead was contained throughout most of the 2nd half, as NC State finally was playing well on defense and forcing poor plays by the Jackets and fought back to tie the game midway through the second half.
The last 8 minutes of regulation was quite stressful, as NC State took the lead with just over 7 minutes to play in the 2nd half. The lead was traded back and forth over the next few minutes. It seemed like every time the Jackets made a layup, State made a layup. Each 3 pointer was returned with a response. The game stayed this way until the last minute, where the Jackets gained possession of the ball after both teams traded turnovers. A poor play in the paint by MGH gave NC State the ball back with 45 seconds to play and a timeout in the front court to set up a play.
The Jackets starters were back on the court for the inbound, with Golden and Heyward on the perimeter and Miller, Holsey and MGH in interior. The Jackets played tough defense, getting the shot clock down to 10 seconds. However, NC State not only got a second chance, but capitalized on a third chance opportunity and converted to tie the ball game. The Jackets pushed the ball to the front court and took a time out with 16.1 seconds left in the game. Quinton and Bolden subbed in for Holsey and Heyward. Golden walked the ball into the front court and moved it to Bolden, where a kick out 3 point look for Golden came up short. OVERTIME!
NC State drew first blood after the Jackets won the tip, but a pair of FTs by Holsey brought the game back to a tied. Again, the scoring was traded as the game was tied at 78 with 55 seconds left and the Jackets gained the ball back. A turnover gave NC State the ball with 30.6 to play. State knocked down a hook in the paint- still can't decide if it was clutch or luck but it doesn't really matter. The ball was pushed down the court with 6 seconds left until Golden was called for an offensive push off. I laughed.
Two missed FTs by State's Turner game the Jackets back the ball with 2.2 seconds left. A timeout by Gregory and the Jackets ran this inbound play that I really love. A baseball throw to Holsey in the post from Miller at the backcourt endline, followed by Bolden and Golden crossing and ending up behind the arch for a wide open, but deep, shot from Bolden. The ball was on line but a little too strong and the Wolfpack came away with a victory unfortunately.
While this game was a loss, the Jackets played very well in a great ACC battle. Miller recorded a double-double with 14 rebounds and 21 points, a career high in points. He was ranked 5th in the ACC in rebounds before this game with 7.7 per game and this game will definitely help his average. Along with Miller was three other players (Georges-Hunt, Golden and Stephens) in the double digits in points.
Here is a team breakdown for stats.
A few things to note from this: Why did Heyward start? I guess he was the best guard option, but we are really hurting due to the Jorgenson and Carter Jr. injuries. Bolden is still struggling and Holsey did little other than travel and foul. Stephens played great and is developing into the star player I am expecting. He might play a more successful "Holsey 6th man" in future seasons, but the future looks bright in my opinion. The defense for the Jackets was good, they just couldn't finish. I don't really blame anyone or anything for this game, it was just a loss. The Jackets out-rebounded the Wolfpack and played very well.
The Jackets return home on Tuesday to face UNC for what is bound to be another exciting one. The game will be played at 7pm and can be seen on ESPN2.
Thanks for reading Jacket fans. I hope you were able to watch the game, because even though it was a loss, we still played well.