Quick hits and notes from NC State's 75-57 win over Georgia Southern in front of 4,297 fans at historic Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday afternoon.
Play of the game:
The Pack had control of this game for the most part from start to finish aside from one second half run by Georgia Southern. The most memorable play of the night though came when freshman power forward Richard Howell blocked a shot from Georgia Sotuhern's Cameron Baskerville. Howell rebounded his own block, and State worked the fast break from it.
On the other end of the court, junior forward Tracy Smith would make a nice pass to fifth-year senior guard Farnold Degand, who would convert a high degree of difficulty lay-up with 14:56 left in the game to give State a 48-29 lead.
Player of the game
Smith was his usual dominant self in the paint. Playing against a team that has only one player on its roster taller than 6-foot-8, Smith made 10 of 12 shots for 21 points and added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal in 31 minutes without a single turnover in the contest.
Hard to believe that NC State could shoot better than they did in the second half against Marquette when the Pack made 20 of 28 shots for 71.4 percent. State though continued their torrid pace from the field with a big shooting night against Georgia Southern.
The Pack made 14 of 25 shots in the first half for 56.0 percent, then topped that second half against Marquette by shooting 19 of 26 for 73.1 percent against Georgia Southern.
In their last three halves NC State has shot 53 of 79 shots for 67.1 percent. State shot 64.7 percent from the field against Georgia Southern. That matched NC State's shooting effort against Akron Nov. 20 for their best effort of the year.
The only negative from the Pack was its poor shooting effort from the line and long range. State made just 4 of 9 free throws and 5 of 17 threes.
The contest went by fairly quickly thanks for two reasons. One was it was not televised. Secondly there were only 22 fouls called in the game. NC State was whistled for 12 infractions while Georgia Southern had 10. That is the fewest fouls called in a game this year featuring the Pack.
NC State had five players score in double figures led by Smith's 21 points. Senior forward Dennis Horner added 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Julius Mays had 11 points, starting in place of the injured junior guard Javier Gonzalez.
Sophomore wing C.J. Williams and freshman forward Josh Davis both added 10 points. This was the first time all season that NC State had five players score in double figures.
Gonzalez played much of NC State's win at Marquette Dec. 5 with a tweaked hamstring. He was in street clothes for Saturday's game against Georgia Southern. After the contest, Pack head coach Sidney Lowe said that he hoped Gonzalez would be able to return for the Elon game Thursday night. He also added that they do not think it will be a similar hamstring problem that kept guard Engin Atsur out for much of Lowe's first season at NC State.
Spotted at the game
NC State linebackers coach Andy McCollum was in attendance with his son and two of his friends. Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God coach Erasto Hatchett and unsigned senior wing Joel Kindred were also in attendance.
Other stats of note:
• NC State outrebounded Georgia Southern 31-26, although the Eagles owned an 11-6 edge on the offensive glass and had an 8-7 advantage in second chance points.
• NC State, as expected, dominated in the paint to the tune of a 50-30 edge in scoring.
• NC State had 15 turnovers compared to just eight for Georgia Southern, and the Eagles took advantage of that for an 18-7 edge in points off turnovers.
• Georgia Southern had five more steals than NC State, 11-6, but State got out on the break more and had a 19-9 advantage in fast break points.
• NC State had a season-high 23 assists on their 33 made baskets. Georgia Southern had just eight assists.
• The Eagles shot 40.0 percent from the field, but did make half of their second half shots (12 of 24).