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NC State dominates the paint, cruises past Virginia, 77-63

uva basketball
Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

NC State softened up Virginia with nine first-half threes, then went to work at the rim in the second half, on the way to a 77-63 win that wasn’t nearly as close as the score makes it out to be.

The Cavaliers (11-8, 5-4 ACC) actually led this one 26-18 at the 8:58 mark of the first half. A Kadin Shedrick layup had UVA at 11-of-16 shooting from the floor at that point.

State (10-10, 3-6 ACC) made 10 of its last 12 shots to close out the first half, five of the makes from three, to close out the half on a 25-6 run that put the Pack up, 43-32, at the break.

A Reece Beekman three 49 seconds into the second half got the margin down to 10, but that was as close as it would get.

An 11-2 NC State run pushed the margin to 19 at the 15:27 mark, and the rout was on.

The difference

In the first half, it was the three-point shooting. Pack freshman Terquavion Smith hit three threes in a three-minute stretch to keep State close, and finished the half 4-of-7 from long-range.

He shared the stage with Jericole Hellems, who was a cool 5-of-7 from behind the arc.

NC State would finish 12-of-22 from three, and also own the paint – outscoring Virginia 34-16, shooting 16-of-23 at the rim.

Virginia opponents, coming in, had averaged 9.1 makes on 17.2 attempts at the rim per game.

Virginia, on the offensive end, was a quiet 7-of-16 at the rim. The ‘Hoos had averaged 10.8 makes on 18.7 attempts at the rim on the season.

NC State, coming in, ranked 204th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com, and was a sieve on the back line.

State opponents had averaged 16.4 makes on 27.1 attempts at the rim coming in.

UVA was a season-best 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from three, but was a woeful 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) on two-point jumpers.

NC State shot just five two-point jumpers on the night.

The formula for winning basketball in 2022: shoot well from three, get to the rim, don’t settle for two-point jumpers.

Rotation guys

Armaan Franklin had 14 points to lead Virginia. He was 4-of-7 from three and 4-of-10 from the field overall in 32 minutes.

Jayden Gardner had 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, but didn’t score in the second half, and only had four points on 1-of-7 shooting in the final 32 minutes of the game.

Reece Beekman had 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, 2-of-3 from three, but had just two assists, in 30 minutes.

Kihei Clark had six points and six assists, was 2-of-3 from three, just 2-of-7 from the field overall.

The bigs, Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro, avoided foul trouble – both fouled out in the win at Pitt on Wednesday, but had just three fouls combined in this one.

Shedrick had eight points (4-of-8 shooting) and four boards in 17 minutes. Caffaro had two points (1-of-2 shooting) and eight rebounds in 23 minutes.

Kody Stattmann had eight points (3-of-4 shooting, 2-of-2 from three) in 15 minutes off the bench. All three of his buckets came in the final 3:48, and two were in garbage time – a three with 1:29 to go, a runner with 44 seconds on the clock.

Quick notes

  • The tempo felt faster than the final stats played out: just 55 possessions per team.
  • Virginia had a 16-14 edge in points off turnovers. State did have a 9-2 advantage in fast-break points.
  • Virginia had a 14-6 advantage in offensive rebounds and a 14-4 edge in second-chance points.
  • Virginia transfer Casey Morsell had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting (2-of-3 from three) in 29 minutes. Coming into this week, Morsell had averaged 3.0 points per game on 18.9 percent shooting in his previous nine games, before scoring 11 on 4-of-7 shooting in the loss to Virginia Tech mid-week.

Bottom line

Both teams shot well from three. State won this one convincingly because they got to the rim and finished, and Virginia settled for too many contested twos.

Story by Chris Graham


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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