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Game Preview: State Looks To Keep Rolling vs. Long Beach State

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NC State Wolfpack vs. Long Beach State 49ers
Today | 2:00PM | Raleigh, NC | RSN (Fox Sports)

NC State is coming off a brilliant 21 point win over Northwestern and want to keep the momentum building as they take on the 1-8 Long Beach State 49ers.

Long Beach State is looking to turn things around after a 8 game skid that included losses to Arizona, Michigan, K State and Washington. Now, an 8 game losing streak is never good, but it’s not like they’ve played a light schedule either. The 49ers have been playing ranked teams and honestly have more experience with top tier teams than NC State does right now. Does that mean that the Wolfpack is going to have a tough time against them? I doubt it, but this team isn’t going to be surprised by NC State’s size or speed.

Players to watch: (Long Beach State)
Long Beach State is led by junior guard Mike Caffey who comes in averaging 16 points per game and over 4 assists. Caffey is good, but he’s only coming in at around 6’0 and with Barber and Lee both having great success on smaller guards thus far, I think I like State’s matchup with him.

Inside they have West Virginia transfer, in his second season with Long Beach State, Dan Jennings. He’s a big (and I mean BIG) 6’9 senior who actually could give the Pack some trouble. He averages 12 points and 8 boards per game. This guy is physically imposing and built like an elite football player, so he’s going to want to bang inside. Vandy is going to have to play smart and not get into foul trouble in this one.

Player to watch: (NC State)
Tonight I think the key is for Cat Barber and Jordan Vandenberg to play big. I think you could always put TJ in this category, because without him I’m not sure where State would get their scoring from, however Barber and Vandy have big matchups in this one. Barber is going to have to stop Caffey. This guy has scored over 20 points on numerous occasions already this season and he’s gong to try to get off early against State. He’s small, but he’s quick and he’s a real ball player. Barber will have his work cut out for him, but he’s already proven he’s a gamer on the defensive end.

As for Vandy, he’s going to face his biggest challenge thus far. Dan Jennings is a physical monster. He’s huge and he loves throwing his weight around. Big V hasn’t really gotten to play against any real front court talent quite yet, so this is a nice test for him. He’s prone to fouling when guys start bumping with him, so Gottfried is going to have to be on him all night. State needs him in the game on both ends of the floor, so keeping him off the sidelines will be vital.

Can NC State beat them?
If NC State doesn’t play awful then they should win by a nice margin. The key is going to be protecting the basketball and defending the Caffey/Jennings combo. Now, this game isn’t going to be some 3 point shoot out because neither team is having any luck behind the arc. The Pack comes in dead last in the ACC at 26.7% and Long Beach State isn’t much better at 27.2%. This is going to be a fast break game played on the break and around the rim.

The 49ers are still looking for role players to step up. They lost 4 of their top scorers last season and haven’t really been able to replace them. This is a team that has won the Big West Conference 3 times running and is used to winning, however after losing 8 straight they might be doing something wrong. State seems to be taking them on at the right time.

Here’s a nice video previewing the season for Long Beach State:

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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NC State improved to 19-5 overall, and 9-4 in the ACC, defeating Georgia Tech 72-64 in PNC Arena. How did they win: By the Numbers. Box Score. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game are below.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BY THE NUMBERS

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Survive and Advance. Some days it’s just like that.

NC State found a way to win at home over Georgia Tech 72-64 with Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner combining for a whopping 10 points, shooting 3-17. They each had 5 points, and entered the game ranked 1st (Smith) and 5th (Joiner) in the ACC in scoring.

How did the Wolfpack find a way to victory?

Burns. Ross. Morsell.

DJ Burns carried the team on his back, scoring 24 points (11-21 FG) and grabbing 8 boards. Ernest Ross reminded us once again what he’s capable of, coming off the bench to score 16 points, shooting 4 of 8 from the field. Most importantly, Ross was a perfect 7 for 7 from the free throw line. He also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The shots might not have been falling for Smith and Joiner, but don’t forget about Casey Morsell. He scored 17 points, making 6 of his 9 field goal attempts, and 4 of 7 from beyond the arch. He also had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Smith’s shot might have been off, but his passing game wasn’t. His 10 assists were a new career high, toppling his former best of 7 against Miami back in December.

Once again, NC State managed to find a way to win a game in which the other team shot better (44.1/41.9) than them. Heck, the Yellow Jackets out rebounded them (37-36).

How you ask?

Well, NC State forced Georgia Tech to commit 17 turnovers, scoring 11 points off of them (Georgia Tech had 5 points off of turnovers). Also, the Wolfpack had more offensive rebounds than the Yellow Jackets (12-10), scoring 11 second chance points (The Yellow Jackets had 7 second chance points).

Georgia Tech entered today’s game having won 4 straight against NC State in PNC Arena, and the Wolfpack found a way to snap that streak.

A 14-3 run by NC State in the final 4 minutes was enough for the Pack to seal the deal.

NC State will have a chance to pick up a Quad 1 win over UVA on the road on Tuesday night at 9pm.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 72 Georgia Tech 64: BOX SCORE

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NC State’s Men’s Basketball team improved to 19-5 and 9-4 in ACC play today, defeating Georgia Tech 72-64 in PNC Arena.

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NC State Basketball

Where Does NC State Rank in Team Stats in the ACC Before Georgia Tech?

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Before NC State and Georgia Tech tipoff at 1pm, here’s a look at where the Wolfpack ranks in the ACC in team stats.

The Wolfpack lead the ACC in points per game, and rank 7th in points given up per game. As a result, NC State’s scoring margin is 10.13, which ranks 2nd in the conference.

The Wolfpack scores a lot, but it isn’t because they are one of the best shooting teams in the ACC, ranking 11th in Free Throw Percentage, 8th in Field Goal Percentage, and 8th in Three Point Percentage.

The reason that NC State leads the ACC in scoring is because of the way they attack the offensive glass, and the way they force turnovers. The Wolfpack forced 319 turnovers, which leads the ACC, and boast a 4.09 Turnover Margin, which also leads the conference. The Wolfpack also rank 2nd in the ACC in Offensive Rebounds. Not shockingly, they lead the ACC in steals, averaging 8.3.

The Wolfpack rank 9th in Assists, but rank 3rd in Assist/Turnover Ratio. NC State has turned over their opponent better than anyone else, and they also have done a good job taking care of the ball.

NC State ranks 2nd in Blocks and 3rd in Rebounding Margin.

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