The NC State Men’s Basketball Team improved to 5-0 after defeating the Saint Peter’s Peacocks by the final score of 85-57. The Peacocks began the game in a soft full court press which was effective as the Wolfpack had a few turnovers to begin the game. The game started off close with a tie score of 13 at the first television timeout. Once the players returned to the floor and play resumed, it was all NC State from there. The Pack quickly went on a 7-0 run to gain a 20-13 lead. This forced Saint Petersburg to call timeout. The Wolfpack continued to extend their lead and by the 7:40 mark of the first half, the lead had risen to 17 points.
The lead continued to grow as NC State effectively used its 10-man rotation to mix up their personnel. The dominant first half ended with a bang as Junior Guard Markell Johnson rose above the rim and threw down a powerful one-handed dunk. This allowed the team to finish the half with some energy and momentum as well as a 32 point lead as the score read 59-27.
The second half of the game was much steadier as the Peacocks outscored the Wolfpack by 4 points, but the initial deficit was too much to overcome. This is the second game in a row where the NC State has been outscored in the second half. Despite winning these games, this is something they will need to address moving forward. Senior Guard Torin Dorn admitted that the team will need to have better focus and energy in the second half of games as the season progresses.
The Pack had a solid night shooting as a team, finished with a Field Goal percentage of 51.9% (27/52). They shot 50.0% from the three-point line (10/20), and 77.8% from the Free Throw line (21/27). The Wolfpack players finished the night with a balanced scoring attack lead by Dorn’s 12-point performance. Three players off the bench also found themselves with double digit scoring nights as Eric Lockett had 11, Braxton Beverly had 10, and Jericole Hellems also finished with 10.
All five of the Wolfpack Men’s Basketball wins have come by 19 or more points. The team has showed promise but is still waiting to face legitimate competition. All opponents they have played so far are rated above 220 in team efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy. Prior to Tuesday nights victory, NC State ranked 8th in the nation in Average Points Per Game at 95.5. They also ranked 6th in the nation with 21.0 Assists per game. It will be important for the team to maintain this high level of play as future opposing teams will give spectators a chance to see what this team is capable of accomplishing.
The team returns to action Saturday, November 24 as they take on the Mercer Bears in PNC Arena.