The two big keys for NC State in the first half, when the Pack didn’t hit a single three-pointer: DJ Funderburk’s great performance, and ball security. State shot better than 50% on twos in the first half in large part because Funderburk didn’t miss a shot, and that helped make up for the lack of perimeter scoring.
NC State also only turned the ball over once in the first half against a team that’s good at forcing mistakes. The Pack finished with just six turnovers, which is a fantastic job overall, and that +4 number in the turnover column was critical in a tight game.
The play by DJ at 15 seconds in the above clip is phenomenal.
Virginia as usual got very little from the perimeter, and the Cavaliers also only connected on 39.5% of their twos. That’s a bad night even by their lackluster standards this season. Kihei Clark’s inability to finish around the rim hurt them a lot—a better player cashes in at least a couple more buckets and maybe this game has a different outcome. He finished 3-8 on twos, while Braxton Key was 3-10.
Virginia scored 20 points over the middle 20 minutes of the game and when these guys are running bad on offense it is painfully evident how much they lack players who can create their own offense. There wasn’t an individual matchup that State had to fret about all night. That backcourt is in dire need of upgrades.
Not our problem, though. We’re too busy enjoying ice cream over here.