RALEIGH, N.C. -- Georgia Tech knocked down shots and played with poise during a testy second-half stretch that had the hostile crowd roaring in frustration. It was enough to hand first-year coach Brian Gregory his first ACC victory.
Glen Rice Jr. scored 22 points to help the Yellow Jackets beat N.C. State 82-71 late Wednesday night, snapping a four-game losing streak and earning a rare road win in the series.
Mfon Udofia added 17 for the Yellow Jackets, who went on a 19-3 run to end the first half and take control. Georgia Tech (8-8, 1-1 ACC) led by 11 at halftime, then pushed that margin to 16 points midway through the second half and 18 late.
“Our guys are starting to grasp the idea that it’s hard to play well if you don’t practice well, and it’s hard to play well or practice well if you don’t play hard or practice hard every day,” Gregory said.
His players looked like they had processed that message against the Wolfpack (12-5, 1-1). They shot 51 percent and hit 9-o-f-15 3-pointers, winning in the RBC Center for just the second time in 11 tries.
“Surprisingly, everybody was poised and focused,” Rice said. “We don’t have too many freshmen. Everybody is pretty much used to coming here. We came here last year. I think we did an excellent job because they had a really good crowd. We kept it together.”
Georgia Tech shot 58 percent after halftime and turned away any and every comeback attempt by the Wolfpack. The Yellow Jackets finished with their best offensive performance since scoring 92 in the opener against Florida A&M.
“They made some tough shots,” N.C. State’s C.J. Williams said. “They made shots with a lot of pressure on them. They made contested shots. That’s all you can really ask for is to contest as great as you can and take away what they want to do and make them uncomfortable. But they were able to hit shots, and they were able to win the game.”