NC State got its fourth consecutive victory Tuesday night with a 87-64 win over a badly overmatched Alcorn State team. The Pack got out to a big lead early, and other than a particularly ugly stretch at the end of the first half, State never really bothered looking back.
Devon Daniels poured in 23 points off the bench for a career high. The junior wing was unstoppable driving the ball and finished well without much of a rim protector waiting for him. He shot 9-13 in the game and did so with only a single turnover, making this an all-around encouraging performance for him.
Markell Johnson showed some flashes of vintage Markell that took over games last year, as he posted a nice 16 and 8 stat line. His jumpshot remains whack though, and he was just 2-8 from three. Johnson must find his jumper for the Pack to become a team that really scares anybody. You can say the same for Beverly too, who is out there just to make threes. He went 2-7 today and is 4-15 over his last three games. Beverly is super valuable against the zone, which State saw a lot of tonight, because he moves well without the ball and can be a knockdown shooter (see: Detroit-Mercy game). He needs to hit those shots though.
Elsewhere, D.J. Funderburk posted another double figure scoring night in his third game back with 10 points on 5-7 shooting. He also knocked down two jumpers, which is exciting. He’s not there yet, but Funderburk with a more developed shot and some actual range to it is a scary thought. The Pack also got a double figure scoring game from Jericole Hellems, who posted 12 points on 5-11 shooting and made some nice plays under the basket.
Overall, State was kind of sloppy and disorganized against the Braves. It didn’t defend the break well and had 12 turnovers, a handful of which were silly and unforced. Alcorn State is terrible, so the Pack will overcome issues like that with ease against a team like this. There’s certainly still work to be done and grooves to relocate, but that’s why they play these games.
We still don’t really know what the Pack has. State gets Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday before we get a more concrete answer to that question against Memphis. For now though, State continues to take care of its business in its buy games and is now 4-1 on the season.