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NC State 84, Richmond 72: Pack pulls away late from hot-shooting Spiders

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NC State
eFG% 56.9 57.8
Turnover Rate 15.7
Off Reb Rate 48.4 25.8
FT Rate 37.9 10.3

Richmond 72 64 112.5 131.3
NC State
84 64 131.3 112.5

NC State snapped out of its shooting funk just in time to ease by a Richmond team that came into PNC Arena on fire. It was the most complete offensive performance we've seen out of the Wolfpack in five games this season, and it was enough to eventually put the Spiders behind them.

Trevor Lacey finished with 26 points for State to lead all scorers--21 of those points came in the first half when the Pack really needed the production. Richmond was 18-of-25 from the field over the first 20 minutes, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. That is an effective field goal percentage of 84.0.

Still State led by a point at the break, and if you're Richmond, man, you have gotta get some sort of lead out of 84% shooting. The Pack grabbed seven offensive boards in the first half, was +3 in points at the free throw line, and +2 in turnovers. Combine those edges with 63% shooting and that's how the Pack overcame the fact that Richmond shot insaneballs percent.

The Spiders cooled considerably over the final 20 minutes, posting an eFG% south of 40.0. The game went back and forth for most of the second half--there were 29 lead changes total--before the Spiders began to fade in the last five minutes.

NC State was able to build, most importantly, maintain a multi-possession lead with a few minutes to go with some good defensive plays and excellent free throw shooting. There would be no repeat performance of the finish against South Florida.

I don't know if Richmond is a top-50 team like the Pomeroy Ratings suggest right now. Could be. But this is a solid-looking mid-major team. The Spiders averaged more than 1.1 points per possession on the road in the ACC, and that level of production earns a win most nights. Just not on this one. That State was able to withstand that level of effort should give the guys some much deserved confidence.

The Pack was more consistent from half to half--even as the Spiders appeared to be hitting every-damned-thing early, State just kept executing. State shot 50% or better in both halves, while the Spiders were not even half as accurate in the second half as they were in the first. Ultimately, Richmond couldn't stand up to NC State's steady output.