NC State’s season ends after NIT quarterfinal loss to Colorado State

Wolpfack falls to Rams, 65-61
North Carolina State coch Kevin Keatts yells to his team during the first half against North...
North Carolina State coch Kevin Keatts yells to his team during the first half against North Florida in an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)(Ethan Hyman | AP)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 11:20 AM EDT
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FRISCO, TX - The NC State men’s basketball team fell to Colorado State, 65-61, Thursday night inside of the Comerica Center in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Junior forward Jericole Hellems led the Pack with 15 points while D.J. Funderburk and Manny Bates each shot 6-of-7 from the field to finish with 13 points.

Funderburk scored the first seven points of the game to get NC State off to a fast start and force a quick Colorado State timeout.

The Rams battled back to take the a 13-12 lead on two Isaiah Stevens free throws, but the Pack would go retake the lead with a lay-up from Funderburk and would lead the rest of the half, taking a 28-25 lead into the break.

Hellems hit a three-pointer on the Pack’s second possession of the second half to put NC State up six, 31-25, but CSU would respond with a 13-4 run to take a 38-35 lead on a Stevens three-pointer with 15:20 to play.

A jumper from Hellems put the Pack back in front 41-40 with 12:34 to go, but the Rams would score the next six points to take a 46-41 lead.

NC State got the deficit down to one point on multiple occasions in the final 10 minutes of the game, but could never get over the hump. The Pack got a defensive stop with 22 seconds remaining and trailing 63-61, but Hellems three-pointer on the next possession was off and two free throws by Kendle Moore with six seconds left gave CSU its final margin.

NC State turned the ball over 17 times in the game which led to 15 points off turnovers for the Rams. Colorado State finished the game with 11 steals which tied for a season-high by an NC State opponent.

Stevens led Colorado State in scoring with 18 points, while David Roddy had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Moore added 16 points.

NC State concludes the season with a 14-11 record. It’s the fourth consecutive season under head coach Kevin Keatts that the Pack has finished .500 or better in ACC play and NC State has advanced to the postseason in every year of Keatts tenure, when a postseason has been held.

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