I gotta say, it was a thoughtful gesture by our beloved Wolfpack not to put us through any sort of emotional distress on Friday night. NC State controlled most of the game against a Wake Forest team that didn’t look super interested in playing tonight—and that’s just fine by me.
Pace and Efficiency
State and Wake traded baskets for a few minutes early on, but the Pack began to dispense with the pleasantries during a 13-2 run that turned a four-point deficit into a seven-point advantage. Braxton Beverly accounted for eight points during that stretch, and the Pack never looked back from there.
Beverly scored 16 points in the first half on 6-6 shooting, including 4-4 from three. State shot 6-13 from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes and hit 12-16 inside the arc. That’s a pretty good half of offense.
And no surprise that NC State took a 13-point lead into the half. NC State led by as many as 18 in the period.
Wake Forest managed one significant counter-punch in the second half, cutting a 19-point deficit down to 10 with 7:37 remaining, but NC State answered with the next seven points to remove any possibility of suspense for good.
DJ Funderburk was outstanding tonight, scoring 19 on 8-10 shooting, while Markell Johnson scored 13 and added 10 assists. It was a nice collective effort (and Danny Dixon got to double figures!) against a defensively underwhelming opponent.
NC State could not afford to mess around and lose this game at home, what with its NCAA tournament future so tenuous, and thankfully the Pack did not make things more interesting than they needed to be. Now we wait for State’s ACC tournament draw, because there’s more work to be done.