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NC State surges late to survive Central Connecticut State, 79-65

Don’t question it

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

NC State traveled up north on Tuesday for its first game away from home as the Pack met Central Connecticut State on the floor of the Mohegan Sun. The game was only watchable via a stream from something called FloSports, which was so poor it was nearly as bad as the basketball it was broadcasting. But I assure you it was not worse.

It’s too early and State is too young to start jumping to conclusions. Doing that is not really the point here, but this was a pretty poor performance from the Wolfpack. This is not Colgate, or UNC-G, or some other mid-major who is a perennial contender in their conference. CCSU is certified butt, and NC State was clinging to a one-score lead late into the second half.

State jumped out to an early 14-7 lead behind three triples, giving the impression it might make quick work of the Blue Devils. That idea was immediately quashed when the Pack subsequently failed to score for over six minutes. Everything disappeared offensively and State went on to score 18 total points the rest of the first half and shoot 33% from the field, which honestly is better than it seemed. The Blue Devils led 33-32 at halftime.

The Pack took an early second half lead and clung to it until about the six-minute mark when it got hot from beyond the arc and grew the margin to 14. It was able to keep CCSU at an arm’s length the rest of the way for a 79-65 win.

Dereon Seabron was the best player on the floor for the third straight game, scoring 24 points on 8/12 shooting and coming one rebound shy of his third-straight double-double. The only other double-figure scorers were Hayes and Smith with 11 and 10, respectively.

State actually shot the ball pretty well from beyond the arc, knocking down 11 of 23 attempts, good for 48%. It made 16 of 37 twos though, good for 43%, which is not what you want to see against a team you should physically overmatch. If you were looking for hope that the Manny Bates injury would be more manageable than originally thought, this game did not provide that. State didn’t get much from its patchwork front line and was actually being outscored in the paint by the Blue Devils late into the second half.

It’s one game and State is back on the court to get better tomorrow against Oklahoma State, so don’t read too much into this performance. In fact, don’t read into it all. Just forget it ever happened. Stop reading. I said stop reading. Hey! I’m talking to you!