It was a slow burn this time around, but the result was the same. NC State jumped all over Pittsburgh early on, taking a 17-2 lead, only to watch the Panthers work their way back to within striking distance and eventually assert complete control of the game.
It didn't take five minutes for Pittsburgh to erase its eight-point halftime deficit, and State found no answers defensively. The Panthers were 17-of-27 from the field over the final 20 minutes; they hit just a third of their attempts in the first half.
And so it was that another big opportunity went up in flames. This one was particularly discouraging. TJ Warren needed 22 field goal attempts and four free throws to reach 23 points, and needless to say, when he isn't usual model of efficiency, things can get pretty rough for the Wolfpack offensively. Cat Barber ain't helping right now.
Barber is 8-of-35 from the floor over his last three games. Some of his shots are essentially turnovers.— Austin Johnson (@austin_johnson) January 4, 2014
Yet Tyler Lewis still can't seem to get more than a handful of minutes every night. I think that's adjustment number one: let's go back to starting Lewis, just to see what that might do for the next few games. Maybe it'll help the both of them. Considering the unforgiving weeks that lie ahead, we have gotta get this situation (among others) straightened out in a hurry.