It wasn’t the most inspired effort, nor was the final margin noteworthy, but then, it isn’t going to take a lot of work for NC State to get past a team like Bethune-Cookman. The Wolfpack began the game on a 9-0 run and the outcome never felt in doubt, though the Wildcats managed to stay within striking distance for a good portion of the night.
The Pack came into today ranked 237th in effective field goal percentage, so it would have been nice to see the guys build some confidence against a bad defensive team. That wasn’t meant to be.
Pace and Efficiency
Jericole Hellems came out hot and Terquavion Smith supplied early offense while Dereon Seabron slowly worked his way into the game, but the offense was inconsistent in the halfcourt and State went through some extended droughts.
Bethune-Cookman closed out the first half strong as Joe French got cooking for a few minutes, helping to pull his team within five at the break. State came out of the second half playing like it wanted to go ahead and be rid of the Wildcats, building a 13-point lead five minutes in. From there, the margin never got below nine.
A team’s performance tends to feel worse than it is when the offense is average, so I should at least note that the Pack’s defense did a stellar job with the punchless Wildcats, who shot just 42% inside the arc and 15% beyond it. Bethune-Cookman was forced to launch up plenty of tough shots and rarely strung together a run of successful/easy possessions. That’s how it was supposed to go, so in that respect, NC State took care of business.
Tough not to dwell on the offense, though, isn’t it? No biggie, though, they’ll get right against Purdue.