No. 22 North Carolina State will look for a bounce-back effort on Saturday afternoon when it visits an improving Boston College team in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The Wolfpack (19-6, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled on offense during Tuesday night’s 63-50 loss at No. 8 Virginia. North Carolina State entered that game leading the ACC in average points per game (79.6) but was held to 20 points in the first 20 minutes and trailed by 14 at halftime.
“The bad news for us is I thought in the first half we kind of let the score get away from us,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. “In the past we’ve been able to control the tempo and get those guys (the Cavaliers) to play a little bit faster and even turn them over, but we couldn’t. I mean, I thought their guards did a great job of controlling the tempo.
“Our guys did a good job in the second half remaining competitive and trying to put a lot of game pressure on. At the end of the day, I thought they got away from us at the end of the first half. When you’re down 14 at the half against a team who controls the tempo, it’s almost like being down 22 points. I thought we fought back and had our opportunities but give Virginia credit. They did what they needed to at home.”
Boston College (12-13, 6-8) has won four of its past six games, including Wednesday’s 82-76 victory at Virginia Tech.
The Eagles have been much more competitive since Quinten Post returned from a foot injury in late December.
Post collected 24 points and 10 rebounds against Virginia Tech. He was 9 of 14 from the floor and made each of his three 3-point attempts versus the Hokies.
“We were getting the ball inside,” Post said. “That’s how we win games. (Boston College coach Earl Grant) always preaches paint ball — getting the ball inside.”
That inside game opened things up on the perimeter, with the Eagles making a season-high 12 3-pointers. Chas Kelley III made four 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 17 points.
Boston College played much of the game without point guard Jaeden Zackery, who sustained an injury to his right leg in the first half.
North Carolina State’s Jarkel Joiner missed 12 of his 14 shots and was limited to five points against Virginia. He is averaging 15.8 points per game this season.
Terquavion Smith (19), Casey Morsell (18) and D.J. Burns Jr. (eight) were the only other players who scored for the Wolfpack, who saw their four-game winning streak come to an end. The Wolfpack have won eight of the past 10 games.
“We’re not gonna let (the Virginia loss) define who we are,” Keatts said. “We’ve been on a pretty good run and hadn’t lost a game since Jan. 21. The one thing I told this bunch is, ‘You didn’t accidentally get to 19 wins and nine wins coming in conference games.'”
–Field Level Media