|Four Factors||NC State
|Off Reb Rate||30.4||38.7|
When I was previewing West Virginia, the two main questions I had were:
1) How well would NC State protect the ball?
2) How well would NC State rebound at the defensive end?
The answer to both of those questions turned out to be NOT GREAT, BOB.
Given that those two factors went against NC State, it's no surprise that West Virginia came out on top--turnovers and offensive boards have been their recipe, and they had both of those areas working for them. Making matters worse, though, was an uncharacteristically outstanding shooting performance from WVU. The Mountaineers' shooting wasn't supposed to be part of the trouble.
Those things taken together make it amazing that NC State hung around like it did--State fell down by 13 in the first half, cut that to five, then watched it bleed out again, cut it some more, watched it bleed; more cuttin', more bleedin', then death, finally.
Free throws were crucial to keeping State within striking distance for a lot of the game, but because of what West Virginia was doing offensively and defensively, the Pack's margin was almost impossibly thin. State would have needed a near-perfect effort at the stripe to have any shot at turning this game around, not the 21-35 effort it got. I mean, seriously, NC State turned over the ball on a third of its possessions! That's a rather large 8-ball to have to push out of your way.