CORAL GABLES, FLA. – The No. 18/19 NC State men’s basketball team defeated Miami, 87-82, Thursday evening inside the Watsco Center in both teams’ ACC opener.
With the win, NC State improves to 13-1, 1-0 in the ACC. The Pack is now off to the best start for the program since the 1973-74 team went 30-1 and won the National Championship.
The Pack faced its largest deficit of the season Thursday evening, trailing the Hurricanes by as many as 10 points in the second half.
With 9:53 to play, Miami led 74-64, but the Pack went on a 13-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again.
Braxton Beverly started the rally with a three-pointer and on the next possession Torin Dorn completed a three-point play to help the Pack close within four, 74-70, with 8:23 to go.
After another defensive stop, Markell Johnson buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to bring the deficit to just one point at the under-eight media timeout.
Out of the timeout, NC State forced another defensive stop and then Devon Daniels gave the Pack its first lead of the second half with a short jumper in the lane with 6:35 to play.
DJ Funderburk would add a short jumper two possessions later to give the Pack a 77-74 lead.
Miami would cut the deficit to one at 77-76, but NC State scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to take an 85-78 lead with 18 seconds to go.
Overall, the Pack held Miami to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting in the final 9:53 of the game.
Johnson led the Pack with 20 points. The Cleveland, Ohio, native scored 17 of his points in the second half. He was 5-for-6 shooting in the second half, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. He also hit four consecutive free throws, all on 1-and-1 opportunities in the final minute of the game.
Daniels added 19 points for the Pack. The sophomore guard was 7-of-10 shooting and added a key block in the final minute to keep Miami at bay.
Braxton Beverly (11 points) and CJ Bryce (10 points) also reached double figures for the Pack. Wyatt Walker finished one point short of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
NC State won the battle on the boards, 51-29, over Miami and also hit 14-of-18 free throws compared to 16-of-29 for the Hurricanes.
The Pack was fouled on three consecutive one-and-one opportunities in the final minute and went 6-for-6 from the foul line.
NC State returns to action Tuesday when it hosts UNC-Chapel Hill at 9 p.m. inside PNC Arena. The game will be televised on ESPN.