Dorn leads Wolfpack in 95-49 rout of Maryland Eastern Shore
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State piled up the points again, but its defense has been even more impressive.
N.C. State held the Hawks to 31.5-percent shooting from the field, its best mark in 35 games under coach Kevin Keatts. The previous low of 32.8 percent came in the Wolfpack’s season-opening 105-55 win over Mount St. Mary’s.
“We have a team whose identity is defense,” Dorn said. “Our identity is pressuring guys and getting up into guys.”
Dorn outscored the Hawks 17-15 in the first half as N.C. State built a 36-point lead.
The Wolfpack won for the 25th time in their last 26 nonconference home games and improved to 31-1 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
N.C. State shot 56.5 percent from the field (35 of 62) and finished with a 50-7 advantage in bench scoring.
A.J. Cheeseman led Maryland Eastern Shore (0-2) with 18 points. Ryan Andino added 14 points.
Maryland Eastern Shore shot 5 of 19 from 3-point range and went scoreless for the game’s first four minutes.
“I thought we set the tone early,” Keatts said. “Because of the versatility of this team, we’re able to switch a lot of screens and get into passing lanes. I thought we got better defensively today than we did in the first game.”
Maryland Eastern Shore: The Hawks were overmatched and never got on track after committing turnovers on four of their first six possessions. After finishing 7-25 last season, Maryland Eastern Shore will need time to build continuity with a roster that features seven junior college and graduate transfers. “We got overwhelmed early,” interim coach Clifford Reed said. “But we didn’t just roll over. We competed in the second half and made a few shots.”
N.C. State: The outcome was decided soon after the game started, and the Wolfpack’s level of play slipped a bit in the second half. But N.C. State took advantage of a chance to spread around playing time and shots, with Keatts often subbing in five players at a time. All 10 players got between 18 and 23 minutes, and each of them scored at least four points.
STAR OF THE GAME
Dorn put on another show after scoring a career-high 28 points in the season opener. The fifth-year senior pulled down eight rebounds in the first half, just two fewer than the Hawks, and finished 8 of 11 from the floor.
Beverly made his season debut after missing the opener while recovering from a fractured bone in his left hand. He wore a black wrap on the hand and did not appear to be limited in his 21 minutes. “It feels good,” he said. “No pain. I’m excited to get back on the court.”
N.C. State was without freshman forward Ian Steere, who played five minutes in the opener. Keatts said he and Steere had a discussion Friday about Steere’s future in the program. “I told him to sit back and give it a couple of days and decide if this is the best fit for him or if there’s another place that he feels like he could go,” Keatts said. Keatts said he plans to speak with Steere again on Monday.
Maryland Eastern Shore plays its home opener against Longwood on Tuesday night.
N.C. State continues its six-game homestand against UNC Asheville on Tuesday night.