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Big Second Half Leads NC State Past Appalachian State, 98-77

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Box Score

Four Factors NCSU App State
eFG% 65.9 54.4
Turnover Rate 14.9
Off Reb Rate 32.1 30.3
FT Rate 34.9 38.6

77 74 104.1 132.5
NCSU 98 74 132.5 104.1

Appalachian State shot well in the first half, knocking down 15 of 27 attempts, including four of seven three-pointers, which kept the Mountaineers within striking distance over the first 20 minutes. NC State briefly held a 10-point lead, but it was a single-digit game the vast majority of the time, and App State went into the half down just five.

Then NC State scored 31 points over the first eight minutes of the second half to put the game away. The Wolfpack led by 27 with 11:46 remaining thanks to that incredible outburst of scoring, and from there it was all academic, no matter how angry Jason Capel decided he felt about any given thing that happened.

Despite a scoreless first nine minutes, TJ Warren finished with a game-high 27 points, and stop me if you've heard this before, but he made a high percentage of his shots. Warren ended up logging 37 minutes despite a lopsided second half, which just goes to show how crucial he is to this team. Warren also finished with six defensive boards, which tied for the team high. That's an effort we need every night, in addition to his scoring.

Dez Lee made one hell of an impression, scoring 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting. He looked every bit the real deal in this one, and while we obviously can't expect that sort of output on a regular basis, the dude made a solid case for being the No. 2 scoring option behind Warren.

Tyler Lewis was effective running the offense, but his problems at the defensive end were again evident. This is why I'm really encouraged by Cat Barber's presence--guys are going to be able to shoot over Barber, but they are going to have a pretty tough time getting loose. Simply staying in front of your guy is a big part of the battle, and he's able to do that.

Barber's quickness was clearly an issue for ASU at the other end of the floor, too. The poor dude shown below is already turning to run over the top of a screen as Cat crosses back to the left, creating an easy dunk for Lennard Freeman.

The great thing about having guys like Lewis and Barber paired with this young frontcourt is they can do exactly what you see above--break down a defense and give the young fellas some confidence-building gimmes. Freeman finished the night 3-for-3 with six defensive boards in 19 minutes, and there's nothing more that could be asked of him than that. Kyle Washington didn't score, but like Freeman, he played hard. They'll get there, and right now we're just in a one-little-step-at-a-time situation.

BeeJay Anya played sparingly once again, but the freshman forward trio combined to log almost 50 minutes of playing time anyway. There were some obvious issues defensively that need correcting--App made a high percentage of its twos in part because of some fundamental mistakes and poor communication. Looking on the bright side, though, Anya should start getting more playing time as he works his way into, you know, something resembling playing shape, and that'll help the rotation. I'm guessing the staff didn't expect to have to play Freeman this much this soon. Jordan Vandenberg's return will make a difference there as well.

Generally speaking, it was a good start. When you average 1.3 points per possession, you're playing damn well offensively. App's two-point accuracy aside, the defensive numbers were fine.

Now it's straight into the fire, kids! A road trip to Cincinnati is up next.

To the game thread comment tally! I'd like to thank myself.

# Commenter # Comments
1 Akula Wolf 50
2 Newclass 30
3 wolfonthehill 23
4 Undertoe 19
5 The GIF Oracle 18
6 wolp facf kan 16
7 ginger avenger 15
8 PackMentality 13
9 acc_10k 6
10 PeeDub 2
11 edzipperlin 2
12 thrillis4 1
13 Omega Wolf 1
14 packalum08 1