|Four Factors||NC State
|Off Reb Rate||32.5||28.2|
NC State held North Carolina to an 18-point first half on the way to a 58-46 win in Chapel Hill on Tuesday night. Nobody would call it masterwork in execution, but State was good enough to take advantage of an off day from UNC and got itself an enormous win.
The Wolfpack had to endure a big run by UNC in the second half, one that cut State's lead from 16 points to two. That run made the game into a toss-up with about 10 minutes to go, though after about three Mark Gottfried timeouts, State was able to regain its footing and re-assert control.
Ralston Turner made a three to push the lead to 41-36, and with that make, State seemed to take a breath. Cat Barber hit a jumper and Turner made another three to give the Pack a 48-41 lead with five minutes remaining. The Tar Heels would threaten from there, but never got within one possession.
Neither team shot well over the first 20 minutes, and as the officiating let these guys play, there were no bailouts at the free throw line. The Wolfpack was just a bit better offensively, and they did a tremendous job of securing defensive boards, which gave them an 11-point lead at the break.
For the most part, that rebounding effort continued in the second half, and was indicative of the team's focus at that end, with some unfortunate exceptions. Carolina's second-half run was fueled by transition scores, and while that was a disappointing stretch for the Pack, that in itself is telling--UNC could not get anything to work out of its halfcourt offense. Marcus Paige could not rescue the Heels with three-pointers, while their interior scorers were consistently discouraged by State's bigs.
This was an ideal scenario for the Wolfpack, with nobody on the UNC side playing well offensively, and the Pack took full advantage. It is a huge, huge win. Put this one on the resume with a bullet. More importantly right now, let's go enjoy the hell out of this.
First time State's won in Chapel Hill in more than a decade.