Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ATLANTA - Feb 24, 2017 - Two teams, playing for different reasons went to battle on Tuesday night, Feb. 21 2017 in Atlanta. North Carolina State was playing for their “fired” coach and leader, Mark Gottfried, and the “Yellow Jackets” of Georgia Tech are vying for a possible NCAA tournament berth. The Wolfpack came out with a well-fought victory (71 to 69), anxiety thick in the air until the final buzzer.
“I’m excited for our players. Really excited for our players,” said Wolfpack head coach, Mark Gottfried. “You know, it’s been a turbulent, tough week for them and I thought they showed great resiliency. They came out, we had a great start to the game. I thought they played with tremendous energy the entire night. Defensively, probably one of the better games we’ve played.”
With 31 seconds to play, N.C. State led Georgia Tech 68 to 59 and seemingly had Tuesday night’s game totally in hand. “State” had led the game since the 14:39 mark of the first half and the game was all but over. The Yellow Jackets then put on a thirty second clinic of pressing, fouling and finishing while trailing in a game. After Dennis Smith, a standout freshmen for the Wolfpack, knocked down his second free throw with 2 seconds left, the Wolfpack held a 71-69 lead.
At that point, Tech Sr. Quinton Stephens threw a perfect full-length pass to “big man” Ben Lammers, who hit a striding Tadric Jackson for a 3-point game winner reminiscent of the “Bryce-Drew-Valpo-play.” Jackson’s shot looked like a winner, but slithered off the rim allowing the Wolfpack a much-needed ACC win.
Terry Henderson (http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/6…) scored 21 points and Dennis Smith Jr. added 18 points for NC State. Josh Okogie (http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/4…) led the “Yellow Jackets” with 25 points. Georgia Tech has a challenging contest at Notre Dame this Sunday and hope to keep their NCAA hopes alive. N.C. State will host Virginia on Saturday.
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