RALEIGH, N.C. -- Scott Wood scored 20 points and made several key plays in the final 2 minutes to help North Carolina State hold off Georgia Tech 79-74 on Saturday.
Tracy Smith added 18 points for the Wolfpack (15-13, 5-9 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used an 11-0 run to go ahead to stay midway through the second half. But N.C. State had to hold on to the final horn before snapping a two-game losing streak.Wood had a critical steal and layup after the Yellow Jackets (11-17, 3-11) closed to within three points with about 2 minutes left. He also knocked down four straight free throws in the final 30 seconds, part of the Wolfpack's 6-for-6 performance at the line to close this one out.Iman Shumpert had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Georgia Tech, which fell to 0-10 on the road this season. The Yellow Jackets have lost eight straight league games.N.C. State was coming off a 75-63 home loss to rival North Carolina, which -- much like the Maryland loss a few days earlier -- saw the Wolfpack in a tie game before the Tar Heels took over in the final 9 minutes to pull away late. N.C. State was in the same situation Saturday, this time tied with 10 1/2 minutes left, before finally putting together a run to get some breathing room.Smith had three key baskets during that run, scoring a layup off a feed from C.J. Williams for a 57-54 lead. He followed that by taking a flip pass from Ryan Harrow and scoring again in the paint to push the margin to five.Then, after Wood scored a layup off a goaltending call following a turnover, Smith scored over Daniel Miller inside. Harrow closed the run with a jumper -- set up by Smith's solid screen on the perimeter -- to give N.C. State a 65-54 lead with 6:23 left.That lead ultimately held up, though the Yellow Jackets fought back to within three points four times in the final 2 minutes. But Wood made his biggest play after Glen Rice Jr. had stolen a pass inside, jumping in front of Rice's outlet pass near halfcourt, then racing in for a hanging layup and a 71-66 lead with 1:47 left.Wood also twice hit two free throws after the Yellow Jackets had closed the gap to three in the final seconds, then Harrow hit two more with 8.9 seconds left to seal it.N.C. State shot 50 percent for the game (28 of 56) and scored 18 points off turnovers, while the Yellow Jackets shot 46.6 percent (27 of 58).