Observations From The Game: Boston College

NC State got off to a fast start Thursday and took down Boston College in the opening round of the ACC Tournament, beating the Eagles 78-57.

NC State got off to a fast start Thursday and took down Boston College in the opening round of the ACC Tournament, beating the Eagles 78-57. The win keeps the Pack's NCAA Tournament dream alive and sets up a quarterfinal matchup Friday with No. 4 seed Virginia.

Let's take a look back at some of the highlights and low-lights from Thursday afternoon's game.


A Fast Start
Inside a building without a lot of energy, NC State needed a fast start Thursday to get some positive momentum flowing. A 14-0 run by the Pack to start the game did the trick pretty well. Thanks to solid State defense and sloppy Boston College offense, it took the Eagles nearly seven and a half minutes to score a point.

Scott Wood led the way early on and in the first half, scoring 14 points and knocking down three 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to help the Pack build a 37-24 halftime edge. The fast start was even more important when the Pack hit a rough stretch in the final eight minutes of the first half as Boston College climbed back into the game.

Forcing Turnovers
Boston College turned the ball over 19 times Thursday, leading to 20 points off turnovers for the Pack. Many of those were picked up in transition, where State was able to generate 31 points. Lorenzo Brown notched five steals, while Scott Wood was able to tally three.

As a team, NC State recorded 11 steals in the opening round win. The Pack pressured the ball well on the perimeter and made Boston College's inexperienced guards a non-factor.

Jordan Daniels, Matt Humphrey and Lonnie Jackson -- BC's starting back court -- accounted for 10 of the team's 19 giveaways.

When NC State had the ball, it was efficient, committing just 11 turnovers on the day while handing out 16 assists as a team. Lorenzo Brown led the way with 8 assists and just three turnovers. Boston College scored just 11 points off turnovers.

Rebounding Edge
NC State did a good job on the glass Thursday, out-rebounding the Eagles 42-31 and allowing Boston College just seven offensive boards and just eight second-chance points. The Wolfpack didn't allow Boston College center Dennis Clifford (6 points, 3 rebonds) to be comfortable in the paint and also turned good rebounding into fast break opportunities and easy buckets on the other end.

Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie scored just 20 points on the day, but combined for 23 rebounds. Senior forward C.J. Williams also had six rebounds.


Not Closing The Deal
From the outset Thursday, NC State had a chance to run Boston College out of the gym. A 14-0 start to the game coupled with a BC squad that looked lost provided ample opportunity for the Wolfpack to pick up an opening round blowout. Thanks to some sloppy offensive possessions in stretches of both halves, however, NC State was unable to effectively put the Eagles away early.

Whether it's because of the belief that they can 'flip the switch' whenever they want or simply not having enough focus in a must-win tournament game, the Pack simply can't afford not to put games away when given the chance. Considering that State still needs a win over Virginia Friday and potentially a victory Saturday in the semifinals to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, an easy win -- that could have included some extended minutes for NC State's bench players -- would have been ideal against Boston College.

Interior Scoring
Despite having a decided edge athletically in the post, NC State wasn't able to dominate the painted area like one might expect. C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell were good on the glass in terms of rebounding, but didn't do the greatest job finishing around the rim. Senior C.J. Williams also struggled, especially in the first half when he had numerous looks close to the rim.

Another part of those struggles came in the form of Boston College freshman Ryan Anderson. The forward picked up a double-double (22 points, 12 rebounds) and was very effective, especially in the second half when the Eagles were able to stay close. Lonnie Jackson was also good for BC, hitting two 3-pointers and finishing with 10 points.

NC State has looked to push the pace throughout Mark Gottfried's first season at the helm, but for much of the year, that has been easier said than done. That was not the case on Thursday, as NC State tallied 31 fastbreak points and, for lack of a better phrase, ran the overmatched Eagles out of the gym. Many of the layups and easy buckets in transition were the result of good defense by NC State's perimeter defenders.

It's become a familiar story this late in the season, but this NC State team goes as Scott Wood goes. On Thursday, the junior forward went for 22 points and hit a game-high five 3-pointers. Other players -- namely C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell -- had impressive performances, but Wood's key shots in the second half helped the Pack put away a pesky Boston College squad.

NC State will face No. 4 seed Virginia Friday in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament. The game is scheduled to tip at 2:30 p.m. from Atlanta's Philips Arena. If the Pack hopes to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, a win against the Cavaliers is a must.

UVa beat NC State 61-60 in February when the Cavaliers visited the RBC Center.

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