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Movin' On

NC State 75, Charlotte 63

The game began as a nightmare for the Wolfpack, who were down 18-4 very quickly. Brendan Plavich came out firing, hitting his first four (or was it five?) three-point attempts of the game. It wasn't necessarily for lack of defense, either. In a couple of cases, NC State guard Engin Atsur had a hand right in Plavich's face, but Plavich hit the shots anyway. I don't think he even hit rim until his fourth or fifth attempt.

Importantly, NC State made a run in the latter third of the first half, and the team was only down by seven at the half. With the way the game started, that seven point deficit felt pretty small.

The second half was a completely different story--NC State shot well over 50%, while Charlotte was under 30%.

Charlotte shot so poorly in the second half that they finished the game at 40%, and this was despite beginning the game 11-17.

Remember that FTA/FGA advantage that Charlotte has had over its opponents this year? Not a factor today. NCSU had 22 free throw attempts (hitting 19) and Charlotte had just 14 (hitting 9).
Also worth noting: each team had 73 possessions, which is actually above the season averages for both teams (so NCSU didn't dictate the pace like I thought they would). Just by glancing at the score, it's clear that neither team was very efficient today.

NC State OFF EFF: 102.7 (75/73)
Charlotte OFF EFF: 86.3 (63/73)

Turnovers were an issue for both teams, though NC State managed to force more:

Turnover Rate

NC State: 21.9% (16 turnovers in 73 poss)
Charlotte: 27.4% (20 turnovers in 73 poss)

Charlotte's Curtis Withers had 7 turnovers. Evtimov had 4 turnovers and didn't manage a single assist (he did have 4 steals, however).

NC State had advantages in shooting %, FTA/FGA, turnovers; rebounding was a wash (the two teams had near-identical offensive rebound rates).

I can't say enough about Julius Hodge. Nineteen points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists. He gives the Pack everything, and he always plays hard. Hodge's emotion helped get the team into the game in the first half. His great passing keyed fast breaks and gave teammates easy buckets in the half court.

On a day in which most of the team wasn't hitting, Hodge was both efficient and unselfish. He finished 8-12 from the field.

Andrew Brackman and Cam Bennerman were also very good today...Bennerman is the defensive hero for holding Plavich to zero second half points. Brackman scored 16 points in just 24 minutes and grabbed 5 offensive boards.