|Off Reb Rate||40.0||40.5|
NC State got off to a quick start offensively, and it seemed that scoring points wasn't going to be a problem for the Pack in this game. Scott Wood was a big part of the start to the first half, as he connected on five three-pointers, often shooting over 5-11 Aaron Bright. On a possession where Stanford went zone, they simply forgot about Wood, who buried a wide open look from the corner. It was just a rough half all around for Stanford's defense.
That continued into the second half, though the Cardinal were able to make runs here and there to keep the game within reach. When State pushed the lead to nine in the first half, Stanford had an answer, and when State led by 17 in the second half, Stanford rallied to cut the deficit back to single digits.
NC State had its rough patches, often including the usual WTF Lorenzo Brown turnover or bad Calvin Leslie shot, but in the end the Pack simply had too much firepower for Stanford to overcome. Brown killed Stanford's guards, making nine of 12 two-point attempts. Between Brown and Wood, it was difficult for Johnny Dawkins to hide the undersized Bright at the defensive end, and State took full advantage.
At the offensive end, Bright apparently snapped out of his early-season shooting funk--he made six of nine shots and hit four of seven three-pointers. Dwight Powell was really tough in the paint. But Stanford had to have a good game from Chasson Randle as well, and that did not so much happen. Randle missed all five of his three-point attempts and is now 11-56 for the season from beyond the arc.
Richard Howell picked up another double double, and he hit five free throws in a row down the stretch when the Cardinal were fouling to try to cut into State's lead. Leslie hit six of 10 shots and four of five free throw attempts, so his production was by no means bad despite some poor decision making.
Stanford's final offensive rebounding percentage doesn't look great for the Pack, but after allowing the Cardinal to grab half their misses in the first half, State limited the them to just 31.8% over the final 20 minutes. That was one reason why State finally managed to put some significant distance between itself and Stanford.
Stanford came into this game at No. 41 in the Pomeroy Ratings with a 20-11 (11-7) projected record. It's still early and so that should be taken with a grain of salt, but this Cardinal team could easily finish in the top three or four in the Pac-12, and hopefully we'll be able to count this as a quality win come March.