Defense fails the Pack again

Tyrese Rice scored a career high 32 points as the NC State (15-9, 4-6 ACC) defense allowed Boston College (13-10, 4-6) to shoot 56 percent in a 82-65 loss on Thursday night at the Conte Forum.

For the second straight game, the NC State defense varied between inconsistent and nonexistent.

Tyrese Rice might have led the charge with a career-high 32 points, but the Wolfpack offense allowed plenty of easy baskets to the rest of his Boston College teammates as well. The Eagles shot 56 percent from the floor, including 7-for-14 from 3-point range, pulling away from the Pack down the stretch for a 82-65 win on Thursday night at the Conte Forum.

The win snaps a six game losing streak for the Eagles (13-10, 4-6 ACC), while handing the Pack (15-9, 4-6) its second-straight loss in conference play. The loss puts the Pack in a tough position in the ACC standings, dropping them to 4-6 with games against Clemson, Duke and North Carolina remaining. The Pack started the conference season with two straight losses as well, and will need a similar run in order to get back to .500 in league play.

Freshman J.J. Hickson led the Wolfpack with a 20-point, seven-rebound effort on the evening with three other Pack players scoring in double figures. Gavin Grant added 15 points, Courtney Fells scored 10 and Brandon Costner added 14 points and seven boards off the bench for the Pack. The State offense was effective, shooting 47 percent for the game despite a shaky start, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Pack's defensive woes.

The Eagles got off to a quick start thanks to Rice, who scored 13 points in the first half, as Boston College jumped to an early 20-9 lead. The Pack would pull the score as close as six in the half thanks to a 3-point transition play, but the Eagles would extend the score to 12 with three minutes remaining in the half. Rice picked up his 3rd foul at the same time, but State was unable to take advantage of the junior's absence, only cutting three points off the lead before halftime.

The Pack looked as though it would take some momentum into the locker room, with Grant slamming home a one-handed jam in transition to cut the lead to seven. But Boston's Tyler Roach hit a off-balance jumper with a hand in his face as time expired, extending the lead to 41-32 and swing the momentum back in favor of the Eagles.

The second half was more of the same, as a NC State cut the Eagles lead to five point a few minutes into the half with Brandon Costner dunk. But the Pack couldn't maintain the momentum, as the Eagles built their lead back to a game-high 13 points with 11 minutes to play in the game.

The Pack had one more run, but Boston College had one more answer. The Pack cut the Eagle's lead to seven points with just over three minutes remaining, but its defense kept them from getting any closer. The Eagles slowly pulled away from that point, extending the lead to its biggest margin of the night and finishing off an 82-65 win.

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