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Lowe again started two freshmen and two sophomores with forward Tracy Smith out for a few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery this weekend.

Lowe acknowledge that Smith, a 6-foot-8 senior, could’ve helped settle his younger teammates during Georgetown’s charge.

It looked at first as if North Carolina State’s newbies might be OK.

They pushed the pace to lead 5-0 and 15-9 early on. Gradually, Georgetown’s experience kicked in. Thompson hit a 3-pointer and Julian Vaughn an easy inside bucket to tie the game at 18.

The Wolfpack again went up 26-22 on a layup by speedy freshman Lorenzo Brown and a tip-in by Howell.

But 3s by Hoya veterans Clark and Wright tied it once again.

North Carolina State shook off the loss of Smith — he returned to campus after injuring his knee in Thursday’s game — and blew past East Carolina and George Mason by double-digit margins.

But when pressed, the Wolfpack’s young players couldn’t maintain their composure. They rushed shots and, while they ran with abandon, did not play with direction.

C.J. Leslie, a freshman who keyed North Carolina State’s first two wins, had only 2 points after halftime.