NC State unable to salvage win for Big Four in Miami

The Wolfpack capped a miserable day for Big Four fans by dropping its ACC opener against the Hurricanes

Steve Mitchell—USA Today Sports
Miami Hurricanes forward Dewan Huell (20) and North Carolina State Wolfpack center Omer Yurtseven (14) both reach for a loose ball during the second half at Watsco Center. Miami won 81-63.

New Year’s Eve was a historically bad day for North Carolina college basketball teams. Following losses for Duke, UNC and Wake Forest, NC State was the lone hope for the Big Four.The Wolfpack were unable to salvage one win for the N.C. teams, as Ja’Quan Newton scored 21 points to lead Miami to an 81-63 on Saturday afternoon. It marked the first time all four teams lost on the same day since Jan. 11, 2014. There was no recorded occurrence before that date, making it just the second time in history.Miami virtually led the entire game, scoring 17 points off 15 Wolfpack turnovers. Miami also outscored North Carolina State 26-12 on second-chance points, 13-2 on fast-break points and 40-16 on points in the paint.Davon Reed recorded 20 points and Bruce Brown added 17 as the Hurricanes (12-2, 1-0) successfully opened their ACC schedule. Meanwhile, the Big Four teams are now 0-5 in conference play after each lost its ACC opener and Wake’s meltdown against Clemson.Miami, which has won 21 consecutive home games, also received a double-double from forward Kamari Murphy, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds.The Wolfpack (12-3, 0-1) had their six-game win streak snapped. It was led by point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who had 21 points and five assists while Abdul-Malik Abu finished one rebound short of another double-double with 11 points and nine boards.Smith, who started the day leading the ACC in assists and ranking fifth in points, had just four points at halftime. Most of his points came after Miami built a 15-point lead in the final six minutes of the game. He hit three 3-pointers during that stretch and missed a free throw that would have given him a four-point play.Miami led 41-32 at the half as Newton had 15 points and Reed added 12. Miami shot 48.5 percent from the floor. NC State didn’t help its cause, shooting just 36.7 percent from the field and allowing 26 second-chance points and 15 total turnovers.State returns home Wednesday night against a Virginia Tech team that dismantled Duke on Saturday. With two more road games following the home matchup with the Hokies and a trip to Chapel Hill looming, Wednesday becomes even more important for a team hoping to not fall in a similar hole as last season.