NC State couldn't miss.
Contested 3-pointers as the shot clock was expiring, off balance drives to the basket – it didn't matter. If the Wolfpack put it up, it was going in.
"Things haven't been going our way," Gavin Grant said. "Today everything just came together."
The Pack used a combination of stellar execution and a little luck to shoot a blistering 67 percent from the field on Sunday afternoon in a 81-56 demolishing of No. 25 Virginia Tech at the RBC Center.
The win broke a three-game losing streak for the Pack (14-11, 4-8 ACC), there longest of the season. After a stretch of games where fatigue appeared to take over down the stretch, State's 30-point lead with 15 minutes remaining assured that there would be no late-game comeback by the Hokies (18-8, 8-4).
"When you've lost a couple your a little down - some people might be feeling that your dead and that its over with," Sidney Lowe said. "We still do have something in the tank."
All five Wolfpack starters scored in double figures, led by senior Engin Atsur with 20 points and seven assists. It's the first 20-point game for the point guard since returning from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for nearly two months. Atsur, like the rest of the Pack, shot the light out - going 8-of-10 from the field.
Ben McCauley added 16 points and seven assists, Grant scored 15 and Courtney Fells added 14. Brandon Costner picked up another double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards.
The Pack shut down Tech's dynamic guard, Zabian Dowdell. The senior, coming off a game where he scored 33 points in a win at North Carolina, was held to just nine points by the Wolfpack.
"Fells took a challenge on against arguably the best guard in the conference," Lowe said. "His focus was strictly defense – he came to the bench and wanted to know how many Dowdell had."
Coleman Collins, who went scoreless in the teams first meeting, scored five straight points at the beginning of the first half but picked up his second foul at the 15:41 mark. From there, the Pack went on a 12-2 run and jumped out to a quick 11 point advantage.
Virginia Tech chipped away, getting within three before the Wolfpack used a 13-4 run to close the half with a 45-33 lead. There wasn't much in the way of defense on either side in the first half. The Pack shot 69 percent, but the Hokies were nearly as successful – shooting 58 percent.
"We were very patient on the offensive end we didn't settle for any shots," Lowe said. "We tried to force them to play defense for long periods of time and as a results we were able to get some open looks."
The Pack kept the pressure on at the start of the second half with a 19-4 run, a knockdown punch that effectively put the game away. State turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, forcing Virginia Tech to shoot just 39 percent from the field.
"No game is won in the first half – you have to play 40 minutes," Fells said. "That's what we wanted to do."