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Cold shooting dooms NC State in 68-60 loss to Pitt

Are those rims regulation size?

NCAA Basketball: William & Mary at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball doesn’t have to be a complicated game, and tonight it certainly wasn’t. If you can’t hit the broad side of a barn, you’re probably going to be in trouble. This was NC State’s worst shooting performance of the season, resulting in its least-efficient output of the season, and a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh.

Four Factors

... NC State Pitt
... NC State Pitt
eFG% 40.0 51.9
TO% 17.1 20.0
OR% 29.3 12.9
FTR 31.6 27.8

Pace and Efficiency

Pitt 68 70 97.1 85.7
NC State 60 70 85.7 97.1

Early on, NC State was forcing turnovers and dominating the glass but missing shots, so it felt like if anything the Wolfpack should have had a larger lead on the scoreboard than it did. As the game progressed, those statistical advantages started to feel like the only things keeping State in the game.

And to Pitt’s credit, it cut down on the mistakes over the last 30 minutes; the Panthers began to even out the turnovers while maintaining their much higher shooting efficiency, and that was enough. They got next to nothing on their offensive glass, but they held up well at the other end, which was particularly important in this one.

NC State needed like 20 offensive rebounds and a heroic effort at the free throw line to pull out a game in which it just could not make anything from the field. Neither of those two bailouts materialized.

Terquavion Smith came out hot, and DJ Burns had a heroic effort in the first half after Dusan Mahorcic got into foul trouble, but that was pretty much all the offense State had in the first half.

The situation didn’t improve much after the break. Casey Morsell and Mahorcic provided some support, but Burns waned, and Baby T wasn’t a difference-maker.

Jarkel Joiner was 0-12 from the floor in this game, and that’s really the bottom line here: if Jarkel Joiner doesn’t make a shot, then NC State is in for a rough night. It didn’t help that Jack Clark was 0-8 from the field.

I wouldn’t expect a lot of oh-fers from those guys the rest of the way. It was an aberrant and gross performance on Friday, so let’s just throw this one out with the garbage and start fresh with the next game.

Losing a game you should win at home, in league play, is always bad. But NC State has done enough to this point to at least allow for a hiccup like this. Also, like half of the ACC has a loss worse than this one.

NC State will get back on track next week against Coppin State, and after that the Pack has a critical stretch to end this month. Tonight sucked, but please don’t take a turn to negativetown, people. You’re never as good as you look shooting 60%, just as you’re never as bad as you look shooting 40%.