Virginia Tech beats NC State 73-68 in overtime
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season, but the Hokies had won their conference opener on just two occasions.
Seth Allen and Jalen Hudson provided the big plays for the third one.
Allen and Hudson scored 23 points each to lift the Hokies past North Carolina State 73-68 in overtime on Saturday.
Allen hit 9 of 19 from the floor, including three 3-pointers for the Hokies (9-5), who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wolfpack. His 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 61 and ultimately sent it to overtime.
Virginia Tech's Shane Henry blocked a layup attempt by NC State's Anthony ''Cat'' Barber with one second left in regulation that would have won the game for the Wolfpack.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored six of his nine points in overtime for the Hokies, including a basket with 1:23 to go that gave Virginia Tech the lead for good.
''I've been preaching to the younger guys, guys that haven't been in this league that whatever has happened in the regular season, you just let it go,'' Allen said. ''You could have won some games, you could have lost some games. This is the ACC, and when conference play starts, it's a whole new season.''
NC State (10-4) led by as many as 16 in the first half and 14 with 16 minutes to go. But the Wolfpack made just one field goal and missed seven free throws in overtime.
''That's the difference a lot of times in a game,'' NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. ''But it's never one thing in basketball. It's the culmination of a lot of different things - defensive rebounding, foul shooting, executing your offense a little bit - and all those things add up. We did not today do enough of those things late in the game to win the basketball game. That's the difference for us.''
Virginia Tech trailed 43-29 with 15:52 remaining after NC State's Caleb Martin hit a 3-pointer, but the Hokies scored 21 of the game's next 29 points. The Hokies grabbed their first lead of the second half, 52-51, on a dunk by Allen with 4:20 to go.
Virginia Tech rallied in the second half behind Hudson, who scored 19 of his season-high 23 in the second half and overtime. He scored 12 of the Hokies' 21 points during that second-half stretch. After taking just five shots in the first half, Hudson made 8 of 16 in the second half and overtime and hit 10 of 21 for the game before fouling out.
''I've said since Thanksgiving of last year (2014) that he's the most talented guy on our roster,'' Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. ''Potential is poisonous at times, if you never realize it. He doesn't have to score 23 every night, but he has to be in a position that they're guarding him like he potentially could score 23.
''Collectively, with the guys we have left, we're going to have to fight like that 18 more times. This was huge. We just kind of hung around and just kept fighting and just kept scrapping. We shot below our field-goal percentage numbers for the season and our free-throw numbers for the season and our 3-point field-goal numbers for the season. We didn't turn it over much, but all of our numbers were below where they typically are - but we just kept hanging around. That's the first time we didn't need a `Hail Mary' to win a game.''
Barber scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack, who saw their six-game winning streak end. But he hit just 7 of 21 from the floor. Caleb Martin scored 14 points, but he hit just 4 of 17 from the floor.
The Wolfpack shot a season-worst 32.3 percent. They came into the game as the ACC's worst-shooting team (42.6 percent).
NC State: The Wolfpack lost their ACC opener for just the second time under Gottfried. . Barber was the only Power 5 player in the nation averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game coming into this one. He had seven rebounds and two assists. . Martin hadn't scored in double figures in the past five games before his performance against the Hokies. . NC State was just 12th in the ACC in free-throw percentage coming into this one at 68 percent (238 of 350). The Wolfpack shot just 63.6 percent (21 of 33) from the line against the Hokies.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies also won their ACC openers in 2006 and 2013. . Hudson scored in double figures for just the fourth time this season and for the first time in four games. . Justin Bibbs led the nation in 3-point percentage at 60.0 percent (33 of 55) coming into the game, but did not make a 3-pointer in a game for the second time this season (0 for 3). . The Hokies beat Gottfried for the first time since he arrived in Raleigh four-plus years ago (1-5).
Virginia Tech plays at home against Virginia on Monday
NC State plays Louisville at home Wednesday.