Observations From The Game: Boston College

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State cruised for a second straight game, taking down Boston College 76-62 on Thursday night to move to 3-1 in conference play.

HIGHLIGHTS

Defensive Aggression
Whether it was part of the gameplan going in or a product of the officiating, the Pack was ferociously attacked the ball handler all night. It was the most aggressive we've seen the Pack on the defensive end, and it resulted in a season-high 16 steals against the Eagles on the night.

C.J. Williams led the way with four steals but Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown also had three each. Every player in the Pack's starting line-up had at least two steals, helping the Pack score 27 points in transition.

Dominating The Paint
It was clear in the first five minutes of Thursday night's game that no one on Boston College could contend with the strength of Richard Howell. Dennis Clifford, the Eagles' freshmen center, got pushed around all night by Howell despite a massive height advantage for Clifford. Howell's 16 rebounds and 11 points were enough to get him called a b**** by Steve Donahue in his postgame press conference – and he meant it as a compliment.

Richard Howell said getting the ball inside was a major part of the game plan. "Coach wanted us to go out and play hard and we wanted to get the ball down low. That's what we did, not just in the half court but on the fast break too. We didn't settle for threes."

Taking Care Of Business
The Pack finished up its easiest stretch of conference play 3-1 and while the loss to Georgia Tech remains a head-scratcher that Pack has since responded in impressive fashion. Two blowouts wins over the bottom of the league is exactly what the Pack should have been doing. The schedule gets considerably tougher from here one out – starting with a trip to Miami this weekend against a talented and dangerous Hurricane team.

LOWLIGHTS

C.J. Williams' Shoulder Injury
We don't know the extent of the injury just yet, but watching senior guard CJ Williams laying on the ground clutching his shoulder was a worrisome sight. If any one player deserved to have a breakout season, it was Williams. He's worked for four years to get to this point and is finally being rewarded with an offense that fits his skillset and has allowed him to blossom as player. To miss time at this stage of the season would be a tremendous blow to the Pack.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
We're going to make Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown share this award. As previously mentioned, Howell dominated the paint and finished with another double-double – 11 points and 16 rebounds as well as three steal. Brown, meanwhile, ran the Pack offense with precision and was lethal with his passes on the fastbreak. He finished with just nine points but had 11 assists and another three steals.

QUOTABLE
Richard Howell on his technical at the end of the game

"I said the magic word. I said the word to get him upset and it worked. I didn't mean to do it on purpose, but I was frustrated. I apologize for that."


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