"The first half we weren't very good," Gottfried told the Wolfpack's radio crew following the game. "But, if you look at the first half, the only way I think they were in the game is their offensive rebounding. Every shot they had in the first half was around the rim. We corrected that.
"We found a way to get it done at the end of the game, and we are really proud of our guys right now."
State now sits at 18-7 overall and 7-3 in ACC play, which might surprise a lot of people, including Gottfried. He admitted early and often prior to the season that he didn't know what to expect from his first team at NC State.
With the win the Wolfpack now has its best ACC record after 10 league games since the 2005-06 season when they were 8-2, and Gottfried can sense what could potentially be in the cards for his squad.
"It's interesting, at the beginning of the year people always asked what I thought this team could do," said Gottfried. "You don't really know... it's my first year. If you would have said 18 wins, maybe I would have said that's pretty good. I don't know.
"Now, the game changes. We're a little greedy. We're going to slug it out all the way to the end."
It is about to get difficult for the Wolfpack.
State doesn't play this weekend and will have seven days to get ready for next Thursday's road game at No. 9 Duke. Two days later they will host No. 17 Florida State, and on February 21st No. 5 North Carolina will venture into the RBC Center.
Those three teams are tied for first in the ACC, and NC State is a game behind them in the loss column. Gottfried views the three-game stretch as an opportunity for his young team.
"You better tie your shoes up real tight right about now," he stated. "What is great is we get to play those teams. They are ahead of us. That's the opportunity. That's what you want.
"You want a chance, let's go get them. They are really good teams, no question, but our guys will play hard. That I do know."
NC State seems to be clicking, having won three straight games since losing 61-60 to Virginia on January 28th. The Wolfpack leads the league in assists and all five starters continue to score in double figures, which is viewed as a positive by Gottfried.
"We have a group of guys right now that have a lot of confidence," he said. "They play really well together.
"That's one thing you've got to like about this team. They share the ball, and we've found a way to grind out some wins."