Miss after miss, they kept coming for No. 23 North Carolina State on Saturday.
Bricked jumpers off the front rim. Drives that rolled around the cylinder and dropped away. Shots that didn’t hit anything at all.
They never stopped, either, not until the host Wolfpack had managed a stunningly low point total that stood as the worst for any ACC school in the shot-clock era. North Carolina State lost 47-24 to No. 12 Virginia Tech, a throwback output to the long-ago days when teams would hold the ball and turn games into stand-around slowdowns.
Only this came from one of the ACC’s best offenses with a shot clock constantly rolling.
“It was crazy,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. “It was almost like there was something on the rim.”
When it was over, North Carolina State had put up the lowest point total by a ranked team in more than three decades of the shot-clock era, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It also flirted with the all-time low total — 20 points by St. Louis against George Washington in 2008 — since the shot clock began in the 1985-86 season, ESPN Stats & Info said.
The ACC said it surpassed the previous low mark for a league team set by Georgia Tech in a 57-28 loss to Virginia in January 2015. And North Carolina State’s 16.7 percent shooting (9 of 54) also stands as the lowest percentage in the history of a league founded in 1953.
Photo: Ben McKeown / Associated Press
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It was hard to explain. North Carolina State (16-6, 4-5) was coming off a 66-65 overtime home loss to No. 3 Virginia, rallying from 14 down in the second half to force overtime. And with its fast pace and pressure defense, the Wolfpack entered this game ranked third in the ACC in scoring (84.4 points), third in shooting percentage (.484) and fourth in 3-point percentage (.378).
But the Wolfpack made just 2 of 28 3-point attempts. It was North Carolina State’s lowest total since it beat Duke 12-10 in the 1968 ACC Tournament — back then, underdog teams often used stalls, hoping to keep close.
North Carolina State made 1 of 17 shots to start this one and missed first 11 3-point attempts, but trailed just 20-14 at halftime with the Hokies (18-3, 7-2) playing a slower pace with point guard Justin Robinson sidelined because of an injury. After making 6 of 31 field goal attempts in the first half (.194), North Carolina State made just 3 of 23 (.130) after halftime.
#1 Tennessee 93, Texas A&M 76: Grant Williams scored 22 points and the visiting Volunteers (20-1, 8-0 SEC) set a school record with their 16th straight win. The old school record: 15 straight from February 1915 to January 1917.
#2 Duke 91, St. John’s 61: Freshman phenom Zion Williamson scored 29 points, Tre Jones had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while playing lockdown defense on Shamorie Ponds and RJ Barrett added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the host Blue Devils (19-2). Ponds, a 20.9-point scorer, had all 11 of his points in the second half for the Red Storm (16-6).
#3 Virginia 56, Miami 46: De’Andre Hunter scored 14 points for the host Cavaliers (20-1, 8-1 ACC).
#4 Gonzaga 85, San Diego 69: Rui Hachimura scored 32 points and the host Bulldogs (21-2, 8-0 WCC) are undefeated through the first half of the conference season. Zach Norvell Jr. added 21 points for the Zags, who won their 12th consecutive game. Isaiah Pineiro tied a career high with 30 points and added 11 rebounds for the Toreros (15-8, 4-4).
Indiana 79, #6 Michigan State 75: Romeo Langford hit a go-ahead 3-pointer early in overtime and scored 19 points as the visiting Hoosiers (13-9, 4-7 Big Ten) ended a seven-game skid, stopping their longest losing streak in nearly eight years. The Spartans (18-4, 9-2) have dropped two straight for the first time this season.
#7 Kentucky 65, Florida 54: Tyler Herro scored 19 points, including a dagger 3-pointer with about 3 minutes to play, and PJ Washington added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the visiting Wildcats (18-3, 7-1 SEC), who rallied from an 11-point deficit to win their eighth consecutive game and end a two-game skid against the Gators (12-9, 4-4).
#8 Nevada 93, Boise St. 73: Caleb Martin scored 30 points and twin brother Cody Martin added a season-high 21 as the Wolf Pack (21-1, 8-1 Mountain West) cruised over a team it beat on Jan. 15 by one point in the final seconds. Alex Hobbs led the Broncos (10-12, 5-4) with 21 points.
#9 N. Carolina 79, #15 Louisville 69: Luke Maye had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Cameron Johnson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the visiting Tar Heels (17-4, 7-1 ACC) avenged a blowout loss. The victory came three weeks after UNC was pounded by 21 points by the Cardinals (16-6, 7-2), their worst defeat at home under coach Roy Williams.
#11 Kansas 79, #16 Texas Tech 63: Dedric Lawson had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Devon Dotson added 20 points and the host Jayhawks (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) took out their frustrations on the Red Raiders (17-5, 5-4). Kansas came into the showdown of Big 12 title contenders having lost two straight and three of four. On top of that, forward Silvio De Sousa on Friday was ruled ineligible this season and next after his guardian received improper benefits.
Arkansas 90, #19 LSU 89: Mason Jones hit a driving floater off the glass with 22 seconds left as the Razorbacks (13-8, 4-4 SEC) handed the Tigers (17-4, 7-1) their first conference loss this season and first home loss in more than a year. Daniel Gafford scored 23 points for Arkansas. Naz Reid scored 19 for LSU, which was trying to start 8-0 in league for the first time since 1981.
#20 Iowa St. 65, Texas 60: Talen Horton-Tucker scored 15 points for the host Cyclones (17-5, 6-3 Big 12).
#22 Mississippi St. 81, Mississippi 75: Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 27 points, freshman Reggie Perry added a career-high 21 and the visiting Bulldogs (16-5, 4-4 SEC) won their fourth of six.
#25 Florida St. 59, Georgia Tech 49: Mfiondu Kabengele and Terance Mann each scored 12 points, and the host Seminoles (16-5, 4-4 ACC) won their third straight after the Yellow Jackets (11-11, 3-6) failed to score in the last 4:14.
Santa Clara 69, Portland 63: Keshawn Justice scored 17 points, including the first four points of overtime, and the Broncos (12-11, 4-5 WCC) won despite blowing an 11-point, second-half lead against the Pilots (7-17, 0-9).
San Diego St. 67, San Jose St. 56: Devin Watson scored 27 points and Jalen McDaniels 22 for the visiting Aztecs (13-8, 5-3 Mountain West), who have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the programs. Craig LeCesne had 14 points and Michael Steadman pulled down 11 rebounds for the Spartans (3-18, 0-9).
#1 Baylor 96, Texas Tech 37: Kalani Brown dominated inside with 23 points on nine layups, adding free throws on five of those after being fouled, and the Lady Bears (19-1, 9-0 Big 12) won their biggest margin of victory ever in a Big 12 game.
#2 UConn 65, Cincinnati 55: Napheesa Collier scored 20 points to reach 2,000 career, and the Huskies 19-2, 8-0 American Athletic) struggled coming off Thursday’s 78-69 loss to Louisville but held on. Collier became the fifth Husky to have 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
#3 Louisville 76, Clemson 44: Jazmine Jones tied her career high with 17 points for the visiting Cardinals (21-1, 8-1 ACC).
#15 Gonzaga 66, St. Mary’s 52: Jenn Wirth had 14 points and seven rebounds and the Bulldogs (21-2, 10-1 WCC) never trailed in Moraga. Sam Simons had 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Sydney Raggio scored 11 with 16 rebounds for the Gaels (14-8, 7-4), whose five-game win streak was snapped.
USF 57, Santa Clara 49: Lucija Kostic had career highs of 22 points (11-for-14 shooting) and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double as the visiting Dons (6-15, 2-8 WCC), who never trailed against the Broncos (10-11, 3-7). Tia Hay scored 11 points for Santa Clara.
San Diego St. 69, San Jose St. 68: Tea Adams hit a shot in the lane with two remaining to lift the host Aztecs (7-12, 2-6 Mountain West) to victory after a wild finish. On the previous possession, Analyss Benally banked in a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to give the Spartans (2-18, 1-8), who had been down 10 with 7:29 left, a 68-67 lead. Mikaylah Wilson finished with 16 points, a career-high, and 11 rebounds, which equaled the best rebounding day of her career, for San Jose State.
Double quadruple-double: Shakyla Hill became the first player in NCAA history with two career quadruple-doubles, finishing with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists and 10 steals in host Grambling State’s 77-57 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The senior guard got her first one on Jan. 3, 2018, against Alabama State. That was only the fourth one accomplished in NCAA Division I history.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Misfire-No-23-N-C-State-falls-47-24-to-No-12-13584939.php.