It would appear from the evidence presented that NC State’s basketball team is superior to UMASS Lowell’s basketball team.
UMASS Lowell, entering the game with a win over San Francisco, who beat Virginia, and a loss at Ohio State that was in doubt deep into the second half, figured to be NC State’s toughest test of the young season to this point. But the matter was settled shortly after tip-off, with the Pack offering a suffocating defensive effort to compliment 52.3% shooting. The final would be 90-59.
The game was over by halftime, when State led 43-19 behind scoring inputs from Cam Hayes, Jericole Hellems, and Devon Daniels. Daniels led the pack in scoring, which is probably something that will be written a lot this year. Hayes’ 17 points and three three-pointers are both career-highs for the young freshman guard. Hellems also scored 17, giving him 17 points in two straight games after a rough season opener.
State was dominant defensively also, forcing 19 turnovers and holding the River Hawks to 21-53 from the field, with the majority of the makes coming when the contest was no longer in doubt. Obadiah Noel, who came in averaging 24 PPG, was held to just 10 points on 2-5 shooting.
State has bludgeoned its first three opponents, as it should have, and it’s gotten strong performances from its young players along the way, particularly Cam “good basketball player” Hayes. This team is finally starting to resemble what Kevin Keatts wants his basketball teams to look like from a personnel perspective, and that’s quite exciting. Now we get to learn a lot about just how good this group is when State takes on Uconn Saturday at noon.