Rarely does a box score show as simply how Pitt lost as the one from Pitt-NC State. Pitt shot better than NC State. From inside the arc, outside and the free throw line. Pitt had a slight edge in turnovers, but it was essentially even. Pitt even blocked more shots.
It was all offensive rebounds and the extra shots they produced. NC State got 18 offensive rebounds to a paltry 6 from Pitt. Their young Turk, Omer Yurtseven had more offensive rebounds (8) than the entire Pitt team. Those offensive rebounds became the extra possessions. The extra shots the Wolfpack needed.
So Pitt could have the slight edge in free throws and threes made, but thanks to 14 — 14!!! — more shot attempts, NC State won on volume.
It wasn’t Pitt being worn down. NC State had 4 players of their own logging more than 30 minutes in the game. Yes, Yurtseven had a clear size advantage on the court, but all too often there were no Pitt players near the basket for offensive rebounds. NCSU had a 6-1 freshman guard (Markell Johnson) grabbed 3 offensive rebounds, when no Pitt player had more than 2 (Chris Jones).
Everything else falls to the side. Pitt made no attempt to battle on the offensive glass, and were outworked on the other end to allow second chance opportunities.
Pitt wasn’t outplayed. They weren’t dominated by a superior team. At the end, they were just outworked.