North Carolina State beats Richmond 84-72.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) In a game dominated by offense, North Carolina State’s defense made the difference.
Trevor Lacey scored a career-high 26 points to help N.C. State beat Richmond 84-72 on Wednesday night.
Ralston Turner added 23 points for the Wolfpack, who improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
N.C. State closed the game on a 22-9 run after trailing 63-62 midway through the second half.
The Wolfpack finally stymied the hot-shooting Spiders (2-2) with a mixture of man-to-man, zone and triangle-and-two.
Richmond, which had been shooting 57 percent before N.C. State’s game-deciding run, made 1 of 12 shots as the Wolfpack pulled away.
”Sometimes you have a hunch, and you bet a bunch,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ”I don’t know that there’s any real scientific reason. We wanted to just keep them off balance, so our plan for the second half was to change defenses and don’t give them a steady diet of one thing.”
Kyle Washington made a layup with 9:13 left to give the Wolfpack the lead for good at 64-63. After a jumper by Lacey and a 3-pointer by Caleb Martin, BeeJay Anya made a free throw with 5:17 left to put the Wolfpack ahead 70-63.
The Spiders closed to within 70-66 on a 3-pointer by T.J. Cline with 4 minutes left, but N.C. State scored the next six points to seal the game.
”The bottom line is we didn’t defend them all night,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. ”We didn’t get enough stops.”
Kendall Anthony and Cline scored 17 points each to lead Richmond. Terry Allen added 14 points for the Spiders.
N.C. State led 45-44 after a first half that featured six ties and 19 lead changes.
The Wolfpack held the largest lead of the half by either team at 22-17, but the Spiders answered immediately with a 7-0 run.
Richmond shot 72 percent from the floor, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range, for the half. Gottfried loudly stomped his feet in frustration on two occasions during the barrage as his defense yielded one open shot after another.
”It would have been easy for him to lose his cool, but he stayed with it,” Turner said. ”He came in at halftime and made the proper adjustments, and in the second half we did a better job of following those assignments.”
Lacey led the Wolfpack in the first half with 21 points. He and Turner shot a combined 11 of 14 from the field, but their teammates shot just 6 of 18 against Richmond’s matchup zone defense.
Richmond: The Spiders sizzled in the first half for the second game in a row. After hitting 18 of 25 shots against the Wolfpack, Richmond has made 70 percent (35 of 50) of its field-goal attempts in the first half of its last two games.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack had limited its first four opponents to 29.6 percent shooting (34 of 115) in the first half. . BeeJay Anya sat out the final 14:15 of the first half after picking up his second foul.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
”That’s one of those pickup games. Coaches don’t like that, but players are just going with the flow. When we got into halftime, Coach made it obvious that we needed to get stops.” – Wolfpack’s Trevor Lacey on the offense-filled first half
ON THE LINE
After poor free-throw shooting down the stretch almost cost the Wolfpack a win against South Florida on Sunday, they responded. N.C. State made 18 of 22 free throws against Richmond, including 10 of 10 in the final 1:47.
Richmond visits Northern Iowa on Sunday.
N.C. State hosts Boise State on Friday.