The Wolfpack (12-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) quickly put on a pedal-to-the-floor show of hot shooting and sharp execution through those first 20 minutes.
N.C. State shot nearly 70 percent (23 of 33) and led 55-30 by halftime on the way to the school's first 100-point conference play outing since 2004.
Ahmed Hill scored 17 points for Virginia Tech (12-2, 1-1), which was coming off a home win against then-No. 5 Duke that pushed the Hokies into the AP Top 25 for the first time since November 2010.
But just about everything went wrong Wednesday, down to 6-foot-10 freshman starter Khadim Sy sitting out after rolling an ankle during the afternoon shootaround.
The Wolfpack's young roster got a rough introduction to league play in a weekend loss at Miami, but this was a reminder of what that potential-filled group can do when it's on.
In addition to Smith's triple-double, Terry Henderson (17 of his 22 points before halftime) got loose early and Abdul-Malik Abu added 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Malik Abu also said Mav Rowan was a "big spark" tonight & said now ppl can't just think of 2-3 players to be stopped for Pack, but depth— Ngozi_ABC11 (@Ngozi_ABC11) January 5, 2017
Perhaps the most alarming part of the first half for Virginia Tech was the Hokies' defensive struggles. Too often N.C. State players got to the rim and encountered no last-line defense, at times threatening to turn this into a dunking display for a thrilled home crowd.
In one play that illustrated those troubles, Wolfpack center BeeJay Anya had time to back a defender down from near the elbow to deep in the paint for a hook shot with nary a rotation from a help defender.
Gottfried was asked if he's ever had a player get a triple-dbl & he says he has to check; said Dennis took a huge step forward tonight pic.twitter.com/TT7co646aF— Ngozi_ABC11 (@Ngozi_ABC11) January 5, 2017
The Wolfpack visit No. 14 North Carolina on Saturday in the next meeting between the longtime Tobacco Road rivals.
ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.