ATLANTA — North Carolina State finally won an Atlantic Coast Conference road game and coach Sidney Lowe was excited.
"Anytime you can win on the road in our conference is big," he said. "It's a big deal."
Tracy Smith scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and five other North Carolina State players scored in double figures to help the Wolfpack defeat Georgia Tech 86-65 on Saturday, sending the reeling Yellow Jackets to their fourth straight loss.
"Tracy has been solid. He is in there banging on those boards, and he had 10 rebounds," said Lowe. "He's in there finishing for us, giving us an inside presence, and he did a great job, defensively, especially on the ball screens where he really got out there and showed."
Javier Gonzalez and Courtney Fells each added 14 points, C.J. Williams and Dennis Horner each had 11 points and Brandon Costner had 10 points for North Carolina State (14-9, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Wolfpack had been 0-4 in the ACC away from home.
Georgia Tech (10-14, 1-10 ACC), losing its ninth in 10 games, was led by Iman Shumpert's 14 points. Lewis Clinch added 12 and Alade Aminu had 11.
The Yellow Jackets last win and only ACC victory was a 76-74 victory over then No. 6 Wake Forest on Jan. 31 at home. The home loss was the worst since a 95-63 defeat to Duke on Feb. 9, 2002.
North Carolina State beat No. 7 Wake Forest 82-76 in its last game on Wednesday night.
Tech cut State's 44-33 halftime deficit to 47-44 with a 9-0 run early in the second half and were still in it on a 3-point basket by Lewis Clinch to trail 54-49 with nearly 12 minutes left, before the Wolfpack took charge.
"We knew we just had to take care of the ball (when Tech got to within 3," said Gonzalez. "We stopped being aggressive, but we kept our composure and kept playing hard and were able to get our lead back."
A 10-3 run with Gonzalez scoring seven points gave the Wolfpack a 64-52 lead with 9:07 left and it was a 17-point lead at 75-58 on a 3-point play by Smith with 5:41 left.
"To start the second half, we got it back to three points twice, but then we had some untimely turnovers and some untimely missed shots," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt.
"Unfortunately, that's been the story of our season. I'm not sure if there's anything else we can do other than come back Monday and get back to practice," he said.
The Wolfpack continued to pour it on and led by 23 points at 86-63 on a pair of free throws by Smith with 1:09 left.
North Carolina State's biggest lead of the opening half was 16 points. The Wolfpack broke a 16-16 tie with 11:55 left and went on a 24-8 run to lead by 16 points at 40-24 with 4:57 left before intermission.
NC State's Williams, a freshman, had a career-high five assists to go along with his career-best 11 points.
The Wolfpack shot 61 percent from the field (27-44), including 9-of-17 from 3-point range (53 percent). Tech managed 38 percent from the field (25-of-65) and 6-of-17 (35 percent) on 3's.