Miami ends Pack's season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the ninth straight time, NC State walked off the court with a loss. This one was the most painful however, ending the Pack's season with a 63-50 loss to Miami in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

NC State's season is over. For the first time since 2001, the Wolfpack will finish the season with a losing record and no postseason play beyond the ACC Tournament.

The Pack dropped its ninth straight game on Thursday afternoon, falling in the first round of the ACC Tournament with a 63-50 loss to Miami. It seemed an appropriate ending for the Pack, who spent much of the game down double digits and never mounted any kind of rally in the second half. In a season marked by its disappointments, the Pack finished 15-16 overall and in last place in the ACC despite a 4-4 start to the conference season.

J.J. Hickson led all scorers in what could be his last game for the Pack, as there is a possibility the freshman big man will turn pro. Hickson scored 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the losing effort. Lance Hurdle led the Hurricanes with 14 points, while Miami's leading scorer Jack McClinton didn't score until halfway through the second half and finished with just six points.

The Pack struggled on offense for much of the first half, as Lowe mixed up the starting line-up by inserting Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley. The shake-up didn't work, as the Pack went without a field goal for the first nine minutes of the game until Trevor Ferguson hit a runner to make the score 13-6 in favor of Miami.

The Wolfpack would tie the score at 14 thanks to the efforts of J.J. Hickson, who scored eight consecutive points for the Pack and had 11 in the half. But the rest of the Pack offense was dreadful, shooting just 22 percent from the field and going 0-for-6 from behind the 3-point line. The Pack didn't help itself in the turnover department or on the glass either, committing eight turnovers and getting out-rebounded by five in the half. Despite the poor performance, the Pack found itself down only seven going into the locker room, trailing 24-17.

The struggles just mounted in the second half, as a seemingly lifeless team failed to find any rhythm in route to falling further and further behind the Hurricanes. Hickson remained the only Pack player able to mount any sort of offense, but it wasn't enough as the Hurricanes opened up a 38-23 lead with 12 minutes left in the game. The Pack wouldn't get the game within single digits the rest of the day.

Pack Pride Top Stories