The bad news for N.C. State is it lost another ACC basketball game on Wednesday night, 85-78 to Florida State.
The loss drops the Wolfpack to 0-4 in the ACC for the first time since 1996-97.
The good news for N.C. State is that the team recovered from an 0-8 start to reach the ACC tournament championship game.
Such is the reach for positives for the Wolfpack (10-7), still seeking its first win in 2016.
Florida State (11-6, 1-3) picked its first ACC win, after its own 0-3 start, with 22 points from freshman guard Malik Beasley and senior guard Devon Bookert added 18 points.
N.C. State followed its recent script of shooting poorly in the first half (33.3 percent) and not being able to overcome it in the second half despite an admirable effort.
The Wolfpack cut an 11-point deficit down to three points in the final minute, with a pair of late 3-pointers by freshman Maverick Rowan, but FSU made its last six free throws in the final 30 seconds to cement the win.
Rowan led N.C. State with 22 points. Sophomore forward Abdul-Malik Abu had one of his best games with a career-high 21 points, 13 rebounds and a career-best six assists.
But N.C. State couldn’t overcome a cold shooting start by Rowan (6 of 16) and from Caleb Martin (2 of 13).
Martin buried a 3 from the right corner at 9:24 in the second half that drew the loudest applause of the night.
Martin’s 3 made it 55-48 and a layup by Barber 33 seconds later cut FSU’s lead to 55-50. The Seminoles answered with a quick 3 from Bookert, one of his four, to start an 11-2 run and push back out to a 66-52 lead.
Florida State took control of the game with a 16-6 run to close the first half. The game was tied at 22 after a nice give-and-go between guard Cat Barber (16 points) and Abu at 7:03 in the first half.
Then N.C. State almost three minutes without a field goal and only one more the rest of the half. Meanwhile, FSU got five points Bookert and a pair of 3s by Beasley.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio