DENVER – Sophomore guard Terquavion Smith scored a game-high 32 points, but it was not enough as sixth-seed Creighton outlasted 11-seed NC State, 72-63, Friday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament played at Ball Arena.
Creighton led 28-26 at the half and the Bluejays scored the opening basket of the second half to double its lead to four, but NC State responded with an 11-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 16:48 to go.
Casey Morsell gave NC State its first lead of the game on a three-pointer to make the score 33-30. Smith scored on a putback on the next possession and then found DJ Burns for a layup on the Pack’s next possession to give NC State its largest lead of the game at seven.
The Bluejays responded with a 9-0 run to retake the lead.
Creighton extended its lead to nine, 56-47, with 7:16 to go, but NC State made back-to-back three-pointers to get within three with 5:42 to go.
The Pack could never get closer than three points though as the Bluejays shot 89.5 percent from the foul line and made some timely shots late in the shot clock to prevent NC State from ever getting the ball with a chance to tie.
Smith’s 32-point outing was the fourth 30+-point performance of the season for the sophomore guard and sixth of his career.
The Fayetteville, N.C., native scored 18 of his 32 points in the second half.
Playing in his final collegiate game, Jarkel Joiner added 13 points and six rebounds.
Jack Clark led NC State with 10 rebounds while Casey Morsell finished a little short of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
Creighton was led by Ryan Kalkbrenner who scored 32 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field.
NC State finishes the season with a 23-11 record. Creighton advances to the second round and will face third-seed Baylor on Sunday.
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