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NC State stays livin' with 74-59 win over Xavier

Gregory Shamus

Box Score

Four Factors NCSU Xavier
eFG% 58.5 43.6
Turnover Rate 14.0 20.3
Off Reb Rate 23.1 32.4
FT Rate 30.2 29.1

Xavier 59 64.1 92.0 115.4
NCSU 74 64.1 115.4 92.0

Folks weren't wrong to wonder whether or not NC State earned the last at-large spot in the NCAA tournament, but on Tuesday night, the Wolfpack made the whole issue seem silly. T.J. Warren scored 25 points, Tyler Lewis played an exceptional second half, and State picked up a comfy 74-59 win over Xavier.

Also, there was this:


Warren got into early foul trouble and wasn't quite in full buckets mode to begin the night, but he got the floater game going in the second half, which left Xavier with no answers. After a 4-of-11 start from the field, he finished by hitting six of his last seven. 

Lewis had to play a significant role with Cat Barber sidelined by illness (Mark Gottfried said Barber was vomiting before the game and at halftime), and he responded with a fantastic, calm effort. Despite having a forearm firmly planted in his back the entire night, he managed to turn the ball over just once while handing out eight assists.

It's not a coincidence that since Lewis and Barber started playing better down the stretch, State's offense took off. Including Tuesday night, NC State has scored 1.15+ points per possession in eight of its last nine games, which is elite productivity. That's where this whole run started, and if that level of efficiency continues, this is going to be a fun finish.