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NC State 70, Virginia Tech 59

Box Score

NC StateFour FactorseFG%58.2Turnover Rate22.2Off Reb Rate37.0FTM/FGA26.5Virginia TechFour FactorseFG%37.5Turnover Rate7.9Off Reb Rate27.3FTM/FGA23.3

-- Our defensive effort was much improved last night, and the numbers reflect that. In what was a suprisingly slow game (63 possessions), Tech only managed an OE of 93.7, and this was despite the fact that they rarely turned the ball over. We did a better job of rotating and closing out, and for the most part we kept them off the glass. It's the second time in conference play that we've held an opponent below 1.0 point/possession. The best part was we didn't need junk defenses or tomfoolery to do it.

-- Speaking of the slow pace, it sounds like that might've been part of Sidney Lowe's gameplan:

"My goal out there was to just lead them and calm them down," Atsur said. "I have to make sure we get a good shot every time, especially on the road. You can’t play fast on the road. Coach Lowe did a great job with his strategy. We slowed the game down and made sure we got a good shot every time. That was my goal."

-- The big discrepancy in turnovers is what kept Virginia Tech close. Protecting the ball is the only thing the Hokies did well offensively. Coleman Collins was blanked, while Jamon Gordon, who took the most shots for Tech, hit 28.6% from the field.

My concern at halftime was that Virginia Tech would shoot much better in the second half, but they stayed cold: 37.1% in the first half, 37.9% in the second. And we stayed hot: 53.8% in the first, 63% in the second. We shot 67.7% on twos, led by McCauley's 10-14 effort and Grant's 5-6 effort.

-- It's great to see Engin more involved in the scoring. The hamstring is still bothering him, but I think he's taken a step forward. His turnover rate for the game was a team-best 10.9%.

-- Gavin picked a great time to start scoring. The period in the second half during which he scored nine straight points was a pivotal one--two of his baskets were sandwiched between three consecutive scores by Virginia Tech. He single-handedly carried us through that VT spurt and we maintained our six point margin.

-- Costner's offense wasn't there last night, but he hit the biggest shot of the game and rebounded exceptionally at both ends of the court.

-- Both conference wins have come on the road, and so we have this (in ACC games only):

Home 92.6 116.0 -23.4
Road 107.5 98.0 +9.5