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NC State 72, Northeastern 66: Big second half helps Wolfpack overcome sluggish start

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NC State
eFG% 52.5 54.6
Turnover Rate 16.7
Off Reb Rate 37.1 18.8
FT Rate 23.3 24.1

66 66 100.0 109.1
NC State
72 66 109.1 100.0

Phew. NC State started yet another game cold at the offensive end, but Cat Barber was his usual self, and the Wolfpack's supporting cast woke up in the second half. The Pack scored 45 points over the final 20 minutes, which was good enough to give the team a 72-66 win over a tough Northeastern group.

Barber finished with 29 points on 11-20 shooting, along with five boards and three assists. He is the only D-I player in the country averaging 20-5-5. He got pretty much whatever he wanted against the Huskies defense, driving relentlessly to the bucket for some easy scores. Northeastern didn't have anybody who could check him in man-to-man. Not that many teams do.

Barber's consistent effort was again crucial in the first half, as his teammates collectively got off to a horrible start. There were a lot of missed shots in close on Tuesday night. Fortunately, Northeastern was no better, so State was able to get to the half with a two-point edge.

In the second half, Maverick Rowan found his shooting stroke to help key a 12-0 run. He finished with 16 points on 6-12 shooting, including 4-8 shooting from three. NC State led by nine points after the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Northeastern quickly erased that edge with its own streak of hot outside shooting.

The game was even with four minutes left, which is when Caleb Martin showed up to hit two big three-pointers. The Pack got some stops down the stretch, Cat did Cat things, and that was enough to subdue the Huskies.

Good win--and a necessary win. That's six in a row for the Wolfpack as it heads into a crucial league-opener against Virginia Tech on Saturday.