Who won? NC State v Miami ACC college basketball game? Score

N.C. State’s Terquavion Smith and Ernest Ross celebrate following a Miami turnover in the closing seconds of overtime at PNC Arena on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C.

N.C. State’s Terquavion Smith and Ernest Ross celebrate following a Miami turnover in the closing seconds of overtime at PNC Arena on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Raleigh, N.C.


Miami might be the ACC’s best team when all is said and done.

N.C. State has proven it can play with the best, and did again Saturday against the No. 16 Hurricanes.

It took overtime to decide it, but the Wolfpack clawed out an 83-81 victory at PNC Arena, refusing to be beaten on its home floor.

A three-point play by Terquavion Smith, who had 20 points, early in OT pushed the Pack ahead 76-74, but Nijel Pack answered with a 3-pointer for Miami. It was on.

The Hurricanes maintained the lead until a follow shot by the Pack’s Ernest Ross — the surprise star this day for N.C. State with 17 points and nine rebounds — with 30.6 seconds on the clock gave the Wolfpack an 82-81 lead.

Ross, fouled on a rebound with 12.3 seconds left, hit one of two free throws for a two-point lead. Miami had the ball for one last shot, but guard Isaiah Wong — who had 25 points — lost the ball driving the lane and the Pack forced a jump ball and turnover.

The final minutes of regulation were as tight and tense as the OT.

Ross, a battler, twice scored inside, his basket with 1:52 left in regulation giving the Wolfpack a 71-70 lead.

The Pack forced a shot-clock violation on Miami’s next possession as Wolfpack fans roared, and guard Jarkel Joiner then hit two at the foul line for a 73-70 lead with 55.5 seconds remaining.

The Pack again turned up the heat defensively, but Miami’s Jordan Miller drained a 3-pointer from the key with 28.6 seconds left for a 73-73 tie. N.C. State set up for a final shot, but Joiner was forced into an off-balance 3-pointer and it was on to overtime.

The Pack (14-4, 4-3 ACC), after wins over Duke and Virginia Tech, played with a lot of bounce in the first half, taking a 42-32 lead. But the Hurricanes (14-3, 5-2) kept it simple, turning to Wong to hit the big shots in the second half and combining it with more aggressive half-court defense.

It was Wong who shook off a sleepy first half and came alive in the second when the Canes and Pack played Dec. 10 in Miami, scoring 22 points in an 80-73 comeback win.

For the first time in 2023 the Pack had a new experience: trailing in a game.

After wire-to-wire wins over Duke — by a lot — and Virginia Tech, the Wolfpack fell behind the Canes 4-2 early. The Wolfpack played from behind most of the first nine minutes as the Canes forced N.C. State into hurried and ill-advised shots, several by Smith, and made some tough shots.

On one play, Miami’s Norchad Omier appeared to travel as the shot clock was about to expire, lofting a high-arching “Hail Mary” shot that fell.

But the Pack kept pushing the ball on offense and tightened its half-court defense. Ross came off the bench to provide some energy and production — six points and six rebounds in six minutes — as the Wolfpack began building a lead.

Both teams shot well in the opening half: the Pack 51% and Miami 56%. N.C. State had 15 points off Canes turnovers and allowed Miami, a good rebounding team, one offensive board in the half in taking the 10-point lead.

Smith had 13 points and DJ Burns, who did not start, gave the Pack some points inside as N.C. State outscored Miami 26-16 in the paint.

Miami coach Jim Larrañaga, irked at his team as the half ended, must have gotten his message across at the break. The Hurricanes, behind Wong, came out of the locker room and quickly scored the first eight points of the second half.

Burns ended the opening run with a 3-point play, Joiner soon nailed a 3-pointer and Greg Gantt’s 3-point play pushed the Pack lead back to 53-44 five minutes into the second half.

But the Pack could not stop Wong, who continued to score off drives and jumpers despite some tight defense by Joiner, Morsell or Gantt.

After scoring 10 points, Wong had a couple of turnovers and took a seat on the bench. But he was back soon.

This story was originally published January 14, 2023 2:32 PM.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

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