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Strong collective effort leads NC State by Furman, 92-73

NCAA Basketball: Furman at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Huh. Well that was easy. Eerily straightforward, even. It’s nice when this happens.

Furman made the first bucket of the night but that ended up being the high point of the contest for the Paladins, who lost the lead on a Casey Morsell three the very next possession and never got it back.

Four Factors

... NC State Furman
... NC State Furman
eFG% 56.1 50.8
TO% 19.1 25.4
OR% 32.5 30.8
FTR 36.4 27.4

Pace and Efficiency

Furman 73 79 92.4 116.5
NC State 92 79 116.5 92.4

NC State pushed ahead 26-10 barely eight minutes in, and while Furman did fight back with an 11-0 run to bring the score to 26-21, it didn’t take the Wolfpack long from there to re-establish a double-digit lead and keep it there.

Jack Clark, who had a nice game, hit the three that broke Furman’s run (and State’s four-minute drought) and put the Pack on its way.

State built a 19-point advantage by halftime, and if there were any fears of relinquishing another big lead, the guys silenced them by beginning the second half on a 14-4 run. Furman’s offense got better as it finally started to cut down on the mistakes in the second half, but it was a little late by then, and anyway the Paladins were going to need a much better defensive effort.

Terquavion Smith led all scorers with 24 points on 9-17 shooting, including 4-8 from three. Casey Morsell scored 17 on 5-11 shooting (4-9 from three), and Jack Clark added 15 on 5-8 shooting.

The Pack’s disruptive defense was a big story in the first half—Furman turned the ball over 14 times, which prevented the Paladins from getting into any sort of flow offensively while giving State easy transition opportunities.

LJ Thomas finished the night with a team-best four steals, which helped him reach a new career-high in scoring with 14. He had a really strong night.

Fourteen points, five rebounds, and four steals is a lot of production for 19 minutes of work, and a pretty strong argument for more playing time in the near future.

While NC State’s offense was scoring without much trouble, Furman’s offense was held under a point per possession for just the second time this season. Really good job by the Wolfpack tonight.