After taking a pretty big step forward in their win vs. Notre Dame, NC State a huge step back on Saturday as they were trampled by UVA 76-45.
Virginia used hard-nosed, disciplined defense to take the Wolfpack completely out of their game. They were physical with TJ Warren all night and were in his head from the get-go. Warren, who was leading the ACC at 23 ppg, finished with 4 points and 4 turnovers.
This is one of those games that reminds you that NC State is a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. Virginia played very strong, very physical and didn’t take any plays off. This made even a point to point pass by the Wolfpack very difficult. That defensive pressure led to 16 State turnovers and a 28.9 shooting percentage.
Where did it go wrong?
It never seemed to go right. NC State never seemed patient enough or hungry enough to compete in this one. Virginia is a grind it out team who loves to get in you head and take you out of your game. When they’re on offense they run you off numerous screens and really make you work hard. They do this by themselves working hard. They are always moving, always screening, and it makes defending them very difficult.
It also didn’t help that they hit nearly everything they shot in the first half. 10 minutes in they were still shooting 67%. They finished the half with 48 points. Sure, NC State could have played much better defense, but it might not have mattered on this night when UVA was simply unstoppable.
Who to blame?
You really can’t blame anyone individually. They entire team looked lost last night. Warren couldn’t get a clean look, Barber was trying to take over 1 on 1, Vandenberg was getting pushed around, Lewis was out-physicalled and everyone else was just watching. It was probably the worst showing State has had all season and brings up a lot of questions going forward.
By the Numbers
State was beat in nearly every category. UVA shot 48% to State’s 29%. They were out-rebounded 27-22. They turned it over 16 times to Virginia’s 7. They had only 7 assists to Virginia’s 14. All in all, State was beat down on Saturday on their home floor. They will need to come out stronger, more focused and more as a team if they’re going to head down to Winston-Salem and beat the Deacs Wed. night at 9pm.