|Off Reb Rate||29.7||39.0|
It wasn't exactly the epitome of sexiness, but it was NC State's most decisive road win in conference play, and victory is all the pretty I need anyway. Georgia Tech managed to stay within a possession or two for most of the second half, but there would be no late fade for the Wolfpack this time. Beginning around the seven-minute mark, NC State went on a 10-2 run that pushed its lead to 10 points with two minutes and some change remaining. A win was far from a given at that point, but the Yellow Jackets continued to struggle from the field and couldn't mount a serious challenge. Tyler Lewis and Lorenzo Brown combined to knock down nine free throws in the final minute, and we were left mercifully with nothing to stress about.
Richard Howell was huge in the first half, and his timing could not have been better, what with Brown, Calvin Leslie, Scott Wood shooting a combined 1-10 from the field. The Pack didn't make a single three-pointer in the half, so it's a bit amazing that we had the halftime lead.
Georgia Tech was able to keep close on the strength of some outstanding offensive rebounding, and one reason why State was eventually able to take control of the game was its improvement on the glass over the final 20 minutes. Tech grabbed more than half their misses in the first half, but it was limited to 29.2% in the second. Tech definitely could have used a few more opportunities--the Jackets made just nine of 28 two-pointers in the second half. That is rather not good.
Leslie finally found some offensive rhythm, which didn't hurt either. He accounted for half of State's points in that decisive 10-2 run, and he got the whole thing started with a traditional three-point play. He will always be erratic and frustrating, but we also know he's capable of making big plays, as he did down the stretch tonight.
Tyler Lewis gave us what we needed--he didn't turn the ball over, he hit State's only three, and he made his free throws in the final minute. T.J. Warren had himself a nice afternoon, but I don't like to see a zero in the defensive rebound category for a tall guy who logs 27 minutes. No other State player had fewer than two defensive boards.
Wood and Brown had a day to forget, at least in terms of their shooting, so I'm not gonna go into that. It's encouraging that we were able to win a game like this with those two struggling so badly to make shots.
|6||wolp facf kan||18|