Perhaps not coincidentally, NC State got off to a brisk start against Clemson on Thursday afternoon to put the disappointment of last weekend behind it. The Wolfpack scored the first 12 points of the game, and the Tigers would never threaten. NC State held a 28-9 lead after the opening quarter and kept Clemson at arm’s length the rest of the way.
It was Clemson’s second-largest losing margin in ACC play.
Pace and Efficiency
Leading the charge offensively for State was Kayla Jones, who had a tremendous day, scoring 21 points on 8-10 shooting. She also dished seven assists and grabbed five boards. Elissa Cunane scored 11 and pulled down eight rebounds in 19 minutes. Jakia Brown-Turner scored 13 points, while Camille Hobby had a dozen.
Wes Moore was able to spread the minutes around his bench this afternoon, getting 13 different players on the court. All of them played at least three minutes. Games like this are helpful given that NC State didn’t have the usual non-conference schedule to get its younger players experience.
On the defensive side, the Pack held Clemson to a below-average shooting day. The Tigers came in shooting about 31% from outside as a team but connected on barely a quarter of their threes today.
Clemson’s biggest strength offensively is on the glass—the Tigers rank 18th nationally with an offensive rebounding rate of 39.6%. If they’d had that kind of success on the glass against the Pack, they might have been able to make things more interesting, but NC State did an excellent job denying them the opportunity.
Up next for State is a home game on Monday against Notre Dame, which is one of the first four teams out of the NCAA tourney in ESPN’s latest bracketology.