Atlanta, GA – Georgia Tech shot 62.5 percent in the second half to come-from-behind and beat NC State, 78-75, Thursday night inside McCamish Pavilion.
With the loss, NC State falls to 20-10, 10-7 (ACC), while Georgia Tech improves to 12-18, 5-12 (ACC).
The Pack led by seven at halftime, 38-31, and extended the lead to nine on an Allerik Freeman three-pointer with 17:15 left to play, but Georgia Tech responded with a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 48-47 with 14:23 to go. Freeman connected on another three-pointer to give NC State a four-point lead, 53-49, but Georgia Tech answered with a 9-2 run to take its first lead of the game on a Brandon Alston three-pointer with 10:00 to go.
The teams would exchange the lead 10 times in the final 10:00 minutes of the game as neither team had a lead larger than four points in the closing minutes until Josh Okogie made a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 78-72 lead.
Back-to-back field goals by Omer Yurtseven pushed NC State back in front 59-58, but Georgia Tech responded with a Okogie jump shot to retake the lead. Freeman pushed the Pack in front with a driving lay-up, but Ben Lammers scored on back-to-back possessions to give Georgia Tech a 64-61 lead with 6:53 to play.
The Yellow Jackets pushed the advantage out to 67-63, but the Pack made another push as Braxton Beverly hit a lay-up and then Torin Dorn completed a three-point play to give the Pack a 68-67 lead with 3:28 to play.
The two teams exchanged baskets over the next two minutes until Freeman was called for a charge with 1:29 to go and the Pack trailing 73-72. Lammers made a lay-up the next time down for Georgia Tech and then the Yellow Jackets got a stop on the defensive end. Okogie’s three-pointer the next time down gave Georgia Tech its biggest lead of the game with 37 seconds to go.
Beverly made a three-pointer on the Pack’s next possession to cut the lead in half and after a Georgia Tech turnover, Beverly got two more looks at a tying three-pointer but could not connect on either shot.
Freeman led the Pack in scoring for the fifth consecutive game, finishing with 19 points. The Charlotte native scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half. Yurtseven added 17 points and a team-best nine rebounds, while Dorn finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Beverly chipped in 13 points and a team-high six assists.
Georgia Tech was led by Tadric Jackson who scored a game-high 22 points. Lammers added 20 points, nine rebounds, a career-high seven assists, four steals and two blocks.
NC State is back in action Saturday for its regular season finale. The Pack will host Louisville at 6 p.m. with the game televised on ESPN.