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November 16, 2013

Quick hits from NC State's victory over Campbell

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 81-66 win over Campbell in front of 13,143 Wolfpack fans at the PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday evening.

Play of the game

Campbell was hanging around with about seven minutes left in regulation, down by six 59-53 after Luke Moyer made a pair of free throws. That's when NC State went on the deciding run.

Rookie forward Lennard Freeman rebounded a missed three-pointer from T.J. Warren and laid it in. Then he got a steal and went to the other end for two. Redshirt junior Ralston Turner followed Freeman's lead and took his steal the length of the court about 15 seconds later to make it 65-53.

State was back in control before Moyer answered with a trey to cut the lead back down to single digits. Turner answered with a downtown make of his own and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but State got the ball back and, although the previous happenings helped the Pack pull away, that was when our actual play of the game came — although technically it was two plays.

First Warren got the ball and drove the baseline with power and finished with a big slam on the offensive end. He stole the ball back when Campbell crossed half-court and passed it to Freeman, who returned the favor with an alley-oop to make it 72-56. The Pack's lead would not be less than 14 the rest of the way.

Highlight of the game

Rookie center BeeJay Anya might not get the most playing team on the team, but there's no mistake that the Wolfpack fans have an affinity for the big man. He logged 15 minutes of action today and received big ovations any time he made a play, or simply checked into the game. However, he really brought the fans to their feet with a series late in the first half.

Warren missed a reverse layup, which Anya slammed home with a big follow. Then on the Campbell response, the center picked up a huge block that really put the crowd into a frenzy. It was a great thing for Pack fans to see from the freshman; Anya also had a very similar series with about 12-and-a-half minutes left in the second half. He followed this one with just a tip in, but the block was another impressive one.

He set career highs in all categories with four points, four rebounds and three blocks.

Player of the game

Get used to seeing this name in this space the rest of the season — it has to be Warren. The second-year player finished with a game-best 23 points, to go along with three rebounds, three steals and a block in 38 minutes.

Warren was 10-of-20 from the field and was the Pack's go-to weapon on offense. He had 15 points in the second half.

If we were to get nit-picky about his performance, he was 1-of-4 from the free throw line, but that's about the only criticism one could make.

Domination down low

NC State may not have much size, but they dominated an overmatched Campbell squad in the paint and on the glass. NCSU held a 37-29 advantage in rebounding, including 16 offensive boards, and they also outscored their opponents on second-chance points, 18-8.

The Pack also finished with a 56-22 advantage for points in the paint. The three freshmen post players for State combined for 14 points on seven-of-eight shooting, 11 rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a pair of steals against just three turnovers.

Tyler Terrific

NC State also had a clear advantage at the point guard position. Although Lewis shot just 3-of-11 from the floor, he logged six points, to go along with a team-best eight rebounds and nine assists against just one turnover.

Gottfried praised Lewis after the game and said there aren't many guys in the country who can record a 9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He also joked that Lewis was sure to let him know about his performance on the glass as soon as the game ended.

Only Campbell's Darius Leonard pulled down more than Lewis' eight rebounds. While Lewis got most of his rebounds on the defensive side, freshman forward Lennard Freeman recorded a game-best five offensive rebounds.

Frehsman forward

Free throw struggles

NC State's margin of victory and free throw percentage were nearly the same number. The Pack won by 15 points, but made just 16.7 percent of its 12 free throw attempts. Warren made one from the charity stripe in his four attempts, while Lee had the exact same performance; Freeman went 0-3 and Turner went 0-1.

Head coach Mark Gottfried noted that the Pack left a lot of points at the free throw line. He noted that when the front end misses of one-and-ones are accounted for, the team left 10-11 points at the line.

The Pack went 0-5 from the charity stripe in the second half.

Other stats of note

- NC State shot 54.4 percent (37-68) from the floor in the game and 33.3 percent from downtown (5-15). As mentioned above, they struggled from the free throw line and finished at 16.7 percent (2-12). Meanwhile, Campbell finished the game shooting 46 percent (23-50) on their field goals, 42.1 percent (8-19) from three-point land and 80 percent (12-15) from the charity stripe. The Camels shot better in the second half, converting on 61.9 percent (13-21) of their shots after the break, including 5 of 8 from three-point land.

- NC State forced Campbell into 19 turnovers and they finished with 31 points off of those miscues. The Pack logged 11 steals in the game and Turner led the way with four.

- State held a 29-15 advantage in fast-break points, but their bench was outscored, 30-26. Rookie point guard Anthony Barber led the way for the NCSU reserves with 11 points, while D.J. Mason and Luke Moyer has 12 and 11 off the bench for the Camels.

- NC State trailed for just 29 seconds. The visiting team took a 2-0 lead 16 seconds into regulation with a jumper from Darius Leonard. NC State tied it up at the 19:31 mark with a jumper from rookie Kyle Washington, which marked his first points in an NCSU uniform. State took a 4-2 lead on a Turner layup after that and never looked back, although Campbell hung tough.

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