FIU probably would have felt okay about it chances had it known before tipoff that it was going to shoot over 63% inside the arc. Most teams would. But!
They gotta guard us too, pal.
They also gotta take care of the basketball if they want to make a good shooting night count. The Panthers turned the ball over a dozen times in about as many minutes to begin the game, so while they were scoring effectively in the half court—when they actually got a shot up—they were losing ground on the scoreboard. An early NC State run pushed the Pack’s advantage from 8-6 to 22-6, and the Panthers never recovered.
Pace and Efficiency
Turnovers helped build that initial cushion, but State grew that lead and sustained it with an outstanding performance offensively. Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell were spectacular, combining for 52 points and 12 made threes.
Both stepped up when Terquavion Smith sat rather early in the first half with two fouls. T also helped get Joiner going early by finding him for open jumpers in transition; Joiner just kept it rolling from there. Morsell’s confidence grew with every made shot during the first half—he was 4-4 from three.
Those two guys stole the show from Baby T tonight, and it’s really encouraging that they did so. Joiner has been everything we hoped he’d be and then some, and it’s just nice to see the added scoring depth from the guard spots.
Smith was only 1-8 from downtown but was 5-7 inside the arc, with six assists and six steals. And five turnovers. His role is obviously a little bit different this year, and he’s still feeling that out, but there are obvious positives for the offense in general because his vision and passing ability are not lacking.
And hey, he still managed to score 15 points. Great night from the backcourt.