Charleston Southern made the first basket of the game, and then the rest of the night happened. NC State responded to that CSU bucket with a 20-0 run that put the game well out of the Buccaneers' grasp, and went on to win, 86-50.
Trevor Lacey was dressed but did not play Friday night because of an ankle sprain he suffered this week. Caleb Martin got the first start of his college career as a result and made the best of it, equaling his career-high with 15 points before the first half had concluded.
Ralston Turner also responded with Lacey on the pine, taking advantage of numerous quality looks over the top of Charleston Southern's horrible zone defense. Desmond Lee saw more minutes than he has all year and had a solid night, while Cat Barber played patiently despite often being matched up with shorter guys.
And Barber didn't need to force a thing with Turner and Caleb Martin extending the Pack's lead seemingly every time down in those first 10 minutes. State's defense was also outstanding for much of the evening, and CSU, which came in averaging 10 made threes per game, didn't hit its second three until the final couple of minutes. The Bucs almost bookended this game with threes, with nothing in between.
It's probably for the best if they don't try to remember anything else. The Bucs needed to hit a whole heap of three-pointers and catch State on a average-or-worse night to win. Neither of those things happened.
The Wolfpack has a quick turnaround--less than 48 hours--from this game to the Wofford contest, so it was good to be able to provide Lacey with some extra rest. Lacey would have played against Charleston Southern if it were absolutely necessary, but his contributions very quickly be came very not necessary. (Thanks for cooperating, CSU.)