Quick hits from NC States win over WCU

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 82-55 win over Western Carolina in front of 13,429 fans at the RBC Center on Saturday afternoon.
Play of the game
The game started off slowly and the first field goal of the game didn't come until four and a half minutes had expired, but the Wolfpack was on a tear once their first shot from the field fell.
After getting out to a 14-7 lead, C.J. Williams nailed a three-pointer on a helper from Lorenzo Brown to give the home team its first double-digit lead of the game. The Pack didn't look back after that one fell.
Highlight of the game
Forward Richard Howell was commended by head coach Mark Gottfried after the game for helping the Pack get on the fast break and for his rebounding prowess.
With the Pack leading 61-26, Howell grabbed a defensive board and threw down the court to Brown, who hauled it in on the run and jammed it. That made the score 65-28 with 12:11 left in regulation.
Player of the game
Honorable mention goes to C.J. Williams, who finished with a game-high 21 points, but the man of the day was Howell for his domination on the boards.
Today marked the forward's third-straight double-double and fourth game in a row with at least 12 boards. Howell finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and a steal in 21 minutes while he was 6-of-9 from the field.
Five in double figures
All five NC State starters finished with double-digit points, which marked the first time the Pack had five finish in double figures since the Duke game last year on Jan. 19.
NC State was impressive with how it shared the ball, as well. The team recorded 25 helpers on 30 made field goals and 72 of its 82 points came from the starters.
Fast break points
NC State took advantage of getting on the run and tallied 34 fast break points against just four for Western Carolina. The Pack tallied 16 points off of the Catamounts' 12 turnovers.
NC State reserve point guard Alex Johnson probably doesn't run into many players that he already knows from opposing teams, but he squared off with fellow Toronto native Keaton Cole, a senior guard. The two were even matched up on each other several times.
Johnson finished with five points, a team-high off the NC State bench, and six assists in 18 minutes while Cole tallied 12 points, a team-best for WCU.
The Pack has now scored at least 80 points in three-straight games, starting with the 88-59 win over Northeastern, and the team is on a season-best, four-game winning streak.
Defensive turnaround
After allowing Campbell to shoot well from the field (50.9 percent) and even better from 3-point land (64.3 percent) in the previous outing, the NC State defense was on point today.
The Pack allowed the visitors to shoot just 30.8 percent for the game, which sets a new season-best. The Catamounts made just 20 field goals, which is the second-lowest tally for an NC State opponent this season after Morehead State made just 19 shots from the floor.
What the win means
NC State improved to 10-4 overall and won its fourth-straight game; Western Carolina dropped to 7-7. State is now 14-0 all-time against the Catamounts.
Other stats of note
- The score was tied just once and WCU lead the game only once, when it started the game off with a 1-0 advantage.
- NC State outrebounded the Catamounts 39-31, although the visitors held a 12-5 advantage on the offensive glass. WCU held a 8-5 advantage in second-chance points.
- NC State committed 14 turnovers for the second-straight game while they forced 12 turnovers. State had a 16-8 advantage on points off turnovers.
- The Wolfpack tallied 36 points in the paint, compared to 22 for WCU while the visitors' bench outproduced State's, 25-10.