With the Pack’s William & Mary matchup canceled due to COVID on Monday, they quickly picked up an extra game on Thursday against UMASS-Lowell. The River-Hawks are a team who had recently taken #23 Ohio State down to the wire. However, on Thursday, NC State had no trouble doing exactly what they wanted to.
Here are the key takeaways…
– NC State’s defense was good. They held NBA prospect guard Obadiah Noel to less than half of his season average. He finished with just 10 points. They also forced 19 turnovers and held the River-Hawks under 40% shooting from the floor and 20% from the 3 point line.
– Devin Daniels led the team with 18 points on 7-13 shooting from the floor. THis was the Devin Daniel we like to see. He was physical, he took mostly all good shots and he really put pressure on the defense by attacking the basket every chance he got.
– Cam Hayes and Jericole Hellems pitched in with 17 each. Hayes is emerging as not just a very good PG, but also a reliable scorer for NC State (in only his 3rd game). Meanwhile, Hellems, has had 2 big games since moving into the starting lineup.
– NC State shot 52% from the floor and 43% from 3. There were questions about how well this team would shoot if from beyond the arc. So far, they have been elite at 45%. Hayes was 3-6, Hellems was 2-3 and Thomas Allen was 3-4.
– We got to see Thomas Allen start to show what he is capable of. The transfer junior came out blazing in the 2nd half and knocked down three 3s. Finishing 3-4 on the night.
– Funderburk, who we though would feast on this smaller front court really wasn’t involved. The NC State guards outmatched and out physicalled the UMASS Lowell guards so badly that there was almost no need to play post basketball.
– Bates final line was’t all that great, but again, his impact on the game was massive. Having him in the middle has smaller guards aborting drive after drive and passing up layup attempts for kick outs. We can’t stress this enough. If Manny can stay out of foul trouble, NC State will be tough to score on.
– The freshman got most of the final 10 minutes of the game and things got sloppy. As you expect, there were turnovers and the offensive flow was off, but this is the type of night to work through those things. NC Stat4 could have won this game by 50, but Keatts wanted to get some competitive minutes under his freshmen’s belts.
– Next up is UCONN, tomorrow at noon on ESPNU.