In a game that NC State desperately needed to win, they came out and got the job done. Both teams shot the ball extremely well, State finishing at 52% and Wake at 51%, however only the Wolfpack had TJ Warren, whose career-high 34 points led them to a 82-67 victory. Here are our game notes:
TJ Warren goes for career high
We might as well just copy and paste TJ’s write-up from last game, or the game before . The guy is a scoring machine that does it with ease and consistency. He was just on fire in this game. He scored inside, on the break and from beyond the arc. Wake simply had no answer for Warren, who scored a career high 34 points on 15-26 shooting. He also added 10 boards and played solid defense. With Warren hitting on all cylinders State is actually a pretty dangerous team and they showed it against Wake on Tuesday night.
Tyler Lewis keys they pace and flow
Another start for Tyler Lewis and another game where NC State owned the pace. I know people say it all the time, but Lewis has something that you can’t teach. He knows how control a basketball game. His dominance might not show up in the stat column, but with him getting major minutes you will never see the Wolfpack looking completely lost. When he’s running the offense there is just a sense of calm and trust between players on that floor that’s hard to explain. Lewis did finish with 6 points, 7 assists and only 1 turnover, but his ability to get his team good shots against the zone early in the game really set the tone.
Barber settling into role
NC State controlled this game. The starting line-up, the substitution pattern, the play off the bench, it all seemingly fit. It really seems like Gottfried now has a good grasp on his team’s identity and what combination really work. I thought Cat Barber looked pretty good tonight. Sure, he still had some freshman errors, but that’s just something you’re going to have to live with until he gets more experience. But Barber off the bench makes a lot of sense. He comes in and can give State that extra burst on offense and a jolt on defense. This team really does need Barber to get his confidence up on his shot. The kid can shoot it but right now he’s questioning his shots. He trying to learn shot selection and game management which is good, but it’s making him think too much before shooting. Again, this process takes time and experience, but it seems like he’s starting to accept his role. He came off the bench today and really was working hard defensively, helping them grow their lead in the 2nd half.
Turner better than we thought?
When people started talking about Ralston Turner being able to fill Scott Wood’s shoes, everyone kind of rolled their eyes. But the junior transfer from LSU has actually been an outstanding outside threat for the Pack. He scored 16 points (5-8 shooting, 2-4 from 3pt range) and once again was a nice supplement to TJ Warren’s scoring. Now we’re not saying he’s Scott Wood, because Wood might have been the best shooter State has ever seen, but Turner has certainly filled the role of go to guy beyond the arc and that is what State desperately needed.
Great defense in the second half
This team is really learning to play defense as a team. Early on in the season you could see that they worked hard defensively, but still took too many risks and had too many mental lapses. Now, they seem like they get it. Against Wake in the second half they held them to 29 points and really made things tough on them. One big factor was the inside play of Beejay Anya. The freshman big was outstanding and made it very difficult to get anything going inside for the Deacs. Anya finished with only 2 blocks, but he presence was a huge factor during on of State’s big 2nd half runs.
This was a huge win for State because it puts them 6th in the conference, and helps them stay in the hunt for a NCAA Tournament bid. But things are only getting tougher. Next up is #1 Syracuse at their place. “(Going up to Syracuse) is a chance for us to do something special” said Mark Gottfried after the game. That is this Saturday at 3pm.
NC State 84 BC 78: BOX SCORE
NC State is a Slight Underdog in ACC Opener vs. Boston College
NC State (4-2) will play their first ACC game of the 2023-24 season tomorrow on the road against Boston College (5-2), and they enter the game as slight underdogs. The Wolfpack are 1.5-point underdogs, and the Total is 150.5.
- NC State is 0-2 Straight Up as underdogs
- BC is 4-1 Straight Up as favorites.
- NC State is 2-4 Against the Spread.
- BC is 4-3 Against the Spread
- The Total has gone Under in 2 games for NC State, Over in 3 and Pushed in 1.
- The Total has gone Under in 3 games for Boston College and Over in 4.
- NC State is 6-4 in their last 10 games against BC Straight Up.
- NC State is 4–6 Against the Spread in their last 10 games against BC.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 games, and Under in the other 5.
#5 NC State 70 Vanderbilt 62: BOX SCORE (with notes)
The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team improved to 8-0 tonight, defeating Vanderbilt 70-62 in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
- Saniya Rivers scored 20+ points for the 2nd time this season, scoring 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting. She also chipped in 8 rebounds and 2 steals.
- River Baldwin posted her first double-double of the season. She scored 12 points and grabbed 10 boards.
- Aziaha James has now scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scoring 14 points tonight, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
- Freshman Zoe Brooks led the Pack in steals (4) and assists (4).
- NC State didn’t shoot well, making only 39% of their shots. Fortunately, they held Vandy to 34.3% shooting.
The Wolfpack will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2pm.
NC State Stat Leaders Heading into the ACC Opener vs Boston College
This Saturday, NC State heads to Boston College for the now-annual early ACC opener. The Pack will face off against the Eagles at 4pm on ACC Network. Here is where the team is statistically after 6 games.
- Casey Morsell leads NC State in scoring with 14.5 ppg.
- The Pack has 4 double-digit scorers this season. Morsell (14.5), Jayden Taylor (13.3), DJ Burns (13) and DJ Horne (11.2)
(Last season State had 4 double-digit scorers as well. Terquavion (17.9), Joiner (17), Burns (12.5) and Morsell (11.8))
- After their top 4 scorers there is a big dip. Parker comes in at 6.8, O’Connell at 6.3, and Middlebrooks at 5.5 ppg.
(Last season Jack Clark was 5th on the team in scoring at 9 points and Mahorcic was at 8.7. However, both guys missed a large chunk of the season.)
- Burns is leading NC State in rebounding this year at 5.3 per game. Diarra is next with 5.3 (but is currently hampered by an ankle injury.)
- O’Connell is leading NC State in assists with 3.3 per game, and Burns is up next with 2.5. PG DJ Horne is only averaging 2.
- LJ Thomas and Mike O’Connell are tied in leading the team at .15 assists per minute.
- Jayden Taylor is leading NC State in 3pt %, shooting an outstanding 45.8%, while Morsell is up next at 34.6%. Horne is close behind at 33%.
(LJ Thomas is shooting 50% from 3, but only has 2 attempts.)
- Burns is leading the bigs, shooting 56.5% from the floor, while Middlebrooks is close behind at 54.2%. Dennis Parker Jr is coming in at 45.2%.
- For the guards, it’s Casey Morsell leading the way at 44.6% from the floor, while O’Connell is next up at 43.4%. Taylor is shooting 42.4%, and DJ Horne is struggling a bit, shooting just 34.8% from the field.
- Jayden Taylor is turning the ball over the most at 1.8 times per game, while Burns is next at 1.7. Morsell is at 1.5 and O’Connell is at 1.2. DJ Horne has been doing a good job of protecting the basketball, turning it over just .3 times per game.