|Four Factors||NC State
|Off Reb Rate||30.8||31.6|
I think NC State got Mark Gottfried's message. The Wolfpack looked much more determined against Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon, and they were rewarded for the effort with an easy 68-50 victory over the Panthers. State's defensive intensity was much better, forcing Pitt into some tough shots while also doing a solid job of cleaning up the glass.
The offense took some time to get going--after a 27-point first half in which the Pack hit just one of eight three-point attempts, both Ralston Turner and Trevor Lacey started to find their range. Turner was 3-4 from deep in the second half, helping the Pack push a five-point lead well into double digits.
NC State led by as many as 21, with Pittsburgh only able to dent the lead on occasion before getting pushed back. The Panthers never looked like they had a big push in them, and indeed they didn't--they were shooting too poorly, and when they attempted to press State, that tended to end well for the Pack. The press is clearly not a thing Pitt does much, but they had to try to find a spark somewhere.
The press did State a favor by getting Pitt's halfcourt defense out of sorts, and State just kept on rolling. So the Wolfpack is again in sole possession of first in the ACC, for however long it lasts. Now the UVA-Duke-UNC gauntlet lies directly ahead. No big deal.