Observations From The Game: Princeton

RALEIGH, NC -- A look at the highlights and low-lights of NC State's last-second 60-58 win over Princeton on Wednesday night at the RBC Center.


  • DeShawn Painter's Clutch Shot – Mark Gottfried's ideal final possession probably doesn't end with Painter taking an 18-foot jumper. But that's the way it worked out on Wednesday, as Lorenzo Brown drew the defense and dished to a wide-open Painter at the top of the key. With absolutely no hesitation, the junior buried the shot and put the Pack up for good with four seconds left. "They left me wide open so I took it with confidence," Painter said after the game.
  • Mental Fortitude – Lorenzo Brown spends Monday in a walking boot. Brown, Jordan Vandenberg and Tyler Harris spend Monday night in a hospital with a virus. CJ Leslie is serving the last game of his three-game suspension. Thomas de Thaey is out indefinitely as the university figures out his eligibility. Scott Wood is carried off the court after an ankle injury. Princeton hits 85 percent of its 3-pointers and trailed by as many as nine in the first half. The Pack overcame all of it, and while the opponent might not have been daunting the Pack's ability to put everything aside and pull out a win shouldn't be overlooked.
  • Cleaning the Glass – Princeton was the first team with any real size to play the Pack this season, with four players over 6'7" getting major minutes, but it didn't negatively affect the Pack's ability to get to the glass. The Pack pulled down 12 of its 32 misses and had 15 second-chance points, while also getting it done on the defensive rebounding end by allowing Princeton just six offensive rebounds on 38 misses and just five second-chance points.


  • Wood's Injury – "If I was a betting man I would say he's going to be out for a while... we'll see." Those were Gottfried's words following the game, and it certainly doesn't sound like we'll see Wood for a couple of weeks. The glimmer of hope for Pack fans is that x-rays came back negative for the junior sharp-shooter. The Pack is certainly not the same kind of offensive team without him on the court, but Gottfried will have to figure out how to get by without him for the time being.
  • Carelessness – The Pack turned the ball over 14 times on Wednesday. For a normal paced game that might be acceptable, but with Princeton slowing things down against the Pack it amounted to one turnover every four possessions. Too many of those turnovers came as a result of careless passes or mental errors, something the Pack will have to correct going forward.
  • Gottfried's First 'T' – Gottfried picked a poor time to get his first technical foul as NC State's head coach. The Pack had just scored on a jumper by Painter and held a four-point lead with six minutes left when an foul called on Alex Johnson caused Gottfried to say something that the officials didn't agree with (He would not elaborate on what was said after the game). That technical seemed to spark the Tigers, as they went on a 6-3 run to retake the lead before Pack regrouped and eventually won the game on Painter's shot.

Painter might have hit the biggest shot of the night, but the player of the evening was without a doubt Lorenzo Brown. Brown didn't practice on Monday due to swelling in his ankle, then went to the hospital on Monday night with a stomach bug. That meant he didn't practice Tuesday either. None of the lingering health problems showed though, as Brown was the only thing that worked offensively for the Pack during stretches of the game. His final line was a ridiculous 16 points, eight assists, five rebounds, five steals and just three turnovers in 37 minutes of play.

Princeton shot 86 percent from 3-point range in the first half and 25 percent in the second half. As effective as they were early, they were equally ineffective late in the game. The Tigers played well enough on the defensive end to win but the Pack did a much better job of challenging shots in the second half to hold down their offensive attack.

Gottfried on Scott Wood being out:
"We gotta play. They aren't going to cancel the games this weekend."

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