Terquavion Smith scored 30 points as sixth-seeded North Carolina State beat 11th-seeded Virginia Tech 97-77 in the second round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday night in Greensboro, N.C.
It was NC State’s most points against an ACC opponent this season, and the Wolfpack will play in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2019. They would have in 2020, but the game was canceled because of the pandemic.
NC State (23-9) will face third-seeded Clemson (22-9) on Thursday night.
NC State’s win also means that all four of North Carolina’s ACC teams – including North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest — are in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006.
Virginia Tech (19-14), last year’s conference tournament champion, likely will be relegated to the NIT.
Smith shot 11-of-13 from the floor and added eight rebounds and three assists. Jarkel Joiner contributed 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Ebenezer Dowuona chipped in 11 points, five boards and two blocks, and Jack Clark tallied 11 points.
Justyn Mutts led the Hokies with 15 points and five rebounds. Rodney Rice had 17 points and Grant Basile added 11.
NC State jumped out to an 8-2 lead to start the game, and then pulled away for a double-digit advantage with a 15-6 run over a six-minute span that ended with just over eight minutes left in the first half. Smith scored seven points during the burst.
A layup by Basile trimmed Virginia Tech’s deficit to 15 with 3:35 to play before the break, but the Wolfpack went on a 12-spurt to close out the half and lead 53-26. Dowuona scored five of those points.
Virginia Tech never got closer than 19 in the second half.
The Wolfpack shot a season-best 61.9 percent from the floor.
Starting NC State forward Greg Gantt left the game in the first half with an apparent leg injury. He returned to the bench in the second half on crutches.
NC State lost twice to Clemson in the regular season, 78-64 in Clemson and 96-71 in Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 25. Both teams could use wins to bolster their resumes toward making the NCAA Tournament.
–Field Level Media