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Wolfpack take 66-59 loss to Wolverines

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State lost 66-59 against Michigan in a sluggish and lethargic effort from the Wolfpack. Although NC State made a 2nd half push to cut a double digit deficit into a competitive contest, the ultimate result was the product of inefficient offense and multiple players having weak showings. The biggest letdown came from Maverick Rowan who went 1-11 from the field. Abdul-Malik Abu was 0-6 shooting wise and Beejay Anya went 1-6 from the line.

As a team, NC State shot 32.8% from the floor and only drilled 4-of-17 three-point attempts. Caleb Martin dropped 19 points and Cat Barber put up 16 of his own, but help wasn't found elsewhere. There were constant possessions of aimless dribbling that lacked any sense of cohesive rhythm. With Abu struggling and Anya or Lennard Freeman being unable to do significant work in the post, the Wolfpack didn't have many interior options against Michigan.

For the Wolverines, they managed to win in spite of point guard Derrick Walton Jr. not playing in the 2nd half. He suffered an ankle injury trying to defend a Rowan shot. The production of Duncan Robinson who blasted NC State with his 5-of-7 shooting from deep and 18 points from Caris LeVert doomed the Wolfpack. It's surprising Michigan only won by single digits given their superior shooting display of 50% in this contest.

Additionally, as it was noted during the ESPN2 broadcast, no one in a Wolfpack uniform other than Caleb Martin or Rowan has made a three pointer on the season. That's where Terry Henderson is deeply missed, both in terms of his offensive threat and his mere presence for minutes. Mark Gottfried attempted to use Shaun Kirk to fill the void in depth, but he picked up quick fouls and looked uncomfortable with the ball in his hands.

Sitting at 4-3 with two questionable losses and possibly no quality wins at the moment given LSU's struggles, NC State definitely needs a change. Tonight was an opportunity to grab an impressive non-conference win against a team playing without its starting PG for half the game. Even with Henderson being injured, the Wolfpack probably should've taken care of business tonight.

Looking ahead, NC State's next game will be a Saturday, 12/5 home showing against Bucknell that tips at 12:00 PM ET. The Wolfpack are already in a position where bad losses can't be afforded, and any future opportunities for resume wins will need to be circled on the calendar.