Observations From The Game: Boston College

NC State played its ugliest, slowest game of the season against Boston College on Wednesday night but still managed to walk away with a 56-51 victory.

HIGHLIGHTS
A Win Is A Win...

The argument could easily be made that Wednesday night was the worst game the Pack has played all season.

They allowed themselves to get brought down to Boston College's level – playing at a slower pace than even the Virginia game on Saturday and failing to crack 60 points for the first time all season. Yes the Pack did lose to Georgia Tech at home, but at least the Yellow Jackets shot lights out in that game. The Eagles didn't even shoot well and managed to stay neck-and-neck with the Pack for most of the game.

The game was one of their worst shooting performances, one of their worst rebounding performances and yet at the end of the day it goes down as a win against an ACC opponent on the road. How you play matters, and the Pack hasn't played well in three straight games now, but avoiding the disaster scenario was a crucial and necessary step towards getting back on track as a team.

Hitting Free Throws Down The Stretch
The Pack managed to stay poised in the last five minutes against Boston College, breaking a 44-44 tie with 5:09 remaining in the game and then proceeding to salt the game away at the line.

The Pack had just one field goal over the next five minutes, a lay-up by Richard Howell, but hit seven of its final eight free throw attempts to keep hold on to the win.

The Pack once again did a good job of getting the ball in the hands of Scott Wood late, who stretched the lead out to six and then eight points in the final 90 seconds to seal the Eagles' fate.

LOWLIGHTS The Continuing Offensive Downward Spiral
The Pack offense, which at one point ranked in the top 25 in the country as far as efficiency, has fallen on hard times as of late. Three of the Pack's four worst offensive performances have come in the last three games against UNC, Virginia and Boston College. The Pack isn't shooting well, has stopped getting to the offensive glass and isn't getting to the line nearly enough to make up for its other deficiencies.

The difference on Wednesday was the opponent – UNC and Virginia are two of the strongest defenses in the country. Boston College is one of the worst, and yet the Pack still struggled. The Pack allowed themselves to become a 3-point shooting team despite clear advantages inside against the Eagles. The team turned away from what's been successful all season – mid-range game and going inside – and nearly lost the game because of it.

The Pack desperately needs to find its offensive rhythm again in its next two games against Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. This team has won with its offense, and while the defense has steadily improved all season long it still needs the offense to perform at a high level to beat good teams.

Not Attacking The Glass
When the two teams met in the RBC Center earlier this year, the Pack dominated the glass by pulling down 41 percent of its own misses and 79 percent of Boston College's errant shots. In Chestnut Hill last night, the Pack managed to grab just 28 percent of its own misses and 67 percent of the Eagle's misses.

Neither Richard Howell nor C.J. Leslie was able to get things going against Boston College despite enormous athletic and strength advantages over the Eagle's big men – something they so easily exploited in Raleigh.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Scott Wood, coming off one of his poorer shooting nights of the season against Virginia, rebounded with a 16-point effort against the Eagles.

The junior sharp-shooter hit 3-of-7 from downtown and remained perfect from the free-throw line – helping put away the game late with a 5-for-5 performance at the charity stripe. But his best play might have been a driving runner that he hit while drawing a foul – if he could manage to draw more fouls and get to the line more it would make him a much more valuable player for the Pack.

He also had three steals and a block on a fast break that helped save an easy basket.

QUOTABLE
Mark Gottfried:

"Rather than quitting, our guys hung in there and they got over it."


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