To say NC State got off to a slow start on Tuesday night would be putting it mildly—Bryant started the game on a 10-2 run and would make its first nine shots from the field, but that was not to last, of course. The Bulldogs eventually began to wilt against State’s pressure, and Torin Dorn and Lennard Freeman had career nights to lead the Wolfpack to a 95-72 victory.
For a while there, it felt like if Bryant could get the ball past half court, it would score; the Bulldogs were turning the ball over and yet not missing any of the shots they did get. Finally about midway through the first half, State started turning over Bryant in really ugly fashion, which is where the rally started in earnest. An 11-0 run erased the Bulldogs’ lead and State slowly built a 10-point advantage at the break.
Torin Dorn had an enormous first half that included one enormous alley-oop dunk:
Bryant had no answer for him defensively and he ended up with a lot of easy baskets. He finished the night with 26 points on 11-14 shooting.
Lennard Freeman was exceptional as well, and it much have been fun for him to play in a game where he had the entire other team beat physically. Lennard finished with 20 points on 8-11 shooting while adding five rebounds.
On a night where pretty much everybody else struggled from the field, Dorn and Freeman were critical—while they were a combined 19-25, the rest of the team was 17-54 from the field (eep). The outside shot wasn’t falling for the Pack tonight, as the team finished only 3-18 from deep.
But State was able to win big without a strong collective effort because it finished the night +20 in the turnover category. If you end up with 20 more shots at the basket than your opponent, that tends to erase whatever gap in shooting percentage that exists between you: Bryant posted an eFG% of 59.7 in this contest and State shot only 47.5%. There’s more than one way to earn a blowout win.