N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said after Sunday’s loss to North Carolina that his team couldn’t play much worse.
Maybe not, but things did get worse overall for the Wolfpack on Wednesday night.
Boston College, led by a pair of guards from the state of North Carolina, added to N.C. State’s misery with a 74-66 home win over the Wolfpack.
It wasn’t a 51-point loss, the final damage in Chapel Hill, but consider the Eagles (9-8, 2-2 ACC) had lost 19 of their previous 20 ACC games. BC has already lost this season to Nicholls State, Hartford and Fairfield.
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The Wolfpack (12-5, 1-3 ACC) had no answer for either Jerome Robinson (24 points) or Ky Bowman (19). Neither Robinson, from Raleigh, nor Bowman, from Havelock, were recruited by the Wolfpack. The duo played as if they were motivated by the recruiting oversight.
N.C. State led 51-50 at the 11:40 mark before Boston College went on a 13-5 run to take control of the game.
An inadvertent elbow by Robinson to Dennis Smith Jr.’s face knocked the freshman out of the game for nearly two minutes.
The Eagles made their move with Smith on the bench.
A steal and dunk by Bowman at 5:06 pushed the Eagles’ advantage to 65-59. It didn’t get much better for the Wolfpack with the Eagles going 18 of 19 from the foul line.
Smith led N.C. State with 15 points and senior guard Terry Henderson added 14.
Robinson and Bowman combined for 23 points in the first half to take a 34-32 lead at the break. N.C. State led by as many as five points, 25-20 at the 7:10 mark, with Smith getting off to a hot start for a group of about a dozen NBA scouts and personnel in attendance. Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge sat in the front row of Conte Forum and got a good look at the Wolfpack star.
The Wolfpack had an advantage inside, on paper, but couldn’t get its bigs untracked to exploit the smaller Eagles inside.
Junior forward Abdul-Malik Abu and freshman forward Omer Yurtseven went a combined 2 of 11 in the first half. Abu finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. Yurtseven had four points.
It was N.C. State’s second loss in two trips to Conte Forum.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio