Tuesday, February 6, 2007

N.C. State-Georgia Tech notebook: Jackets embarrassed by start

ATLANTA As poorly as things went for N.C. State in the second half of its 74-65 ACC loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, things were nearly as bad in the first half for the Yellow Jackets.
“We saw coach (Paul Hewitt) was getting ready to walk away from the coliseum before the first half was over,” said Georgia Tech forward Jeremis Smith, who scored 10 points. “It was kind of embarrassing to experience that kind of half.”
N.C. State began the game with a 17-2 run before Georgia Tech started its comeback.
-- Although N.C. State has been the ACC’s worst rebounding team, the Wolfpack has improved in that area recently. N.C. State outrebounded Virginia Tech and North Carolina by a combined 73-54 in recent upset victories. The Wolfpack held its own against Georgia Tech – the ACC’s third-best rebounding team – with the Yellow Jackets holding a 26-25 edge.
The Yellow Jackets’ rally brought the team closer together.
“We’re definitely becoming a team now,” Smith said. “There were a couple of times during the game where we turned to one another and said, ‘Man, I love you.’ Honestly, I looked at Javaris (Crittenton) and A’Mo (Anthony Morrow) one time and said, ‘Man, I just love you all.’ We were still down, but we were fighting back. We knew that we had each other’s back and we were going to fight to the end."
-- N.C. State’s second-half problems showed up in its shooting percentage (33.3) and turnovers (11). On its way to a 43-35 first-half lead, the Wolfpack shot 58.6 percent and had just seven turnovers.
“Obviously the game changed in the second half,” said coach Sidney Lowe.
-- David Scott