Observations From the Game: Stanford

RALEIGH, N.C. -- No. 25 NC State shot a blistering 56.1% to defeat Stanford 88-79 Tuesday night in PNC Arena. Here are some final thoughts and observations from the Wolfpack's win.

Wood Ignites Pack early
It's usually a good sign when Scott Wood hits his first shot, and Tuesday night was no different. Wood hit a 3-pointer in the first two minutes of the game against Stanford, then proceeded to light up the Cardinal over the next 10 minutes of action.

After hitting two 3s in the first five minutes, Wood caught fire over a four-possession stretch around the halfway point of the half. Over those 90-seconds, the senior guard hit 3-of-4 from behind the arc and also added a block and an offensive rebound to put the Pack up 29-20 early.

"Scott Wood had a stretch there that was really important for us and for him - to get back on track offensively and shoot it really well," Mark Gottfried said after the game.

Brown Finishes Strong
The junior point guard finished the first half 3-of-6 from the field and 0-for-3 from behind the arc. He didn't take another three the rest of the game, instead playing to his strengths and attacking the basket. The result – 18 second-half points and a fairly drama-free win over a good Stanford team.

"The difference for him tonight as opposed to some early games is that when he got into the paint and penetrated he was on balance, he was under control, he came out of there with good shots - higher percentage shots," Gottfried said.

Block Party
The Pack blocked 11 shots on the night, or 22% of the total shots that Stanford took during the game. That's twice the normal block rate for the Pack, and a big reason why they were able to hold the Cardinal shooting down. The Pack spread the blocks around, with four players (including Wood), picking up a pair of blocks.

The Pack turned it over just 10 times in a 67-possession game, finishing with a respectable 15% turnover rate. The problem wasn't protecting the ball though; it was forcing Stanford to give to turn the ball over.

The Pack forced just six Cardinal turnovers, though they did manage to score 10 points off those turnovers and match Stanford in that category. But for a team that is built to run, and wants to run, the Pack needs to start forcing more than one turnover every 10 possessions.

Defensive Rebounding
The Pack actually had a great day rebounding the ball on the offensive side, but didn't have nearly the same success stopping the Cardinal from picking up offensive rebounds. Stanford had 17 offensive rebounds on 41 missed shots.

Gottfried said after the game that not many of those possessions actually turned into points for Stanford, but it kept the Pack on the wrong end of the court for longer and helped give the visiting team a slight edge in second-chance points.

"I thought a key for us tonight was how well we could defensive rebound... they are good in that," Gottfried said. "They do a good job of using their length."

Player Of The Game
Lorenzo Brown, who finished the game with 24 points, was pretty much unstoppable going to the basket in the second half. Brown stopped settling for jumpers and attacked the Cardinal defense head on, finding openings in the lane and finishing strong at the basket.

Brown hit 75% of his 2-point shots and all six of his free throws on the night while dishing out five assists. The junior matched his career high in scoring, his previous 24-point outing coming last December against Campbell in Reynolds.

"I thought he played well all night. Aaron Bright is not very tall, and I thought Lorenzo used his length," Gottfried said.

Stat of the Game
19-of-27, the Pack's final free-throw shooting number. While that works out to just over 70 percent, the Pack hit free throws when they needed to late in the game. Specifically Richard Howell, who started the game 0-for-4 from the line and was the target of the Stanford foul strategy in the last two minutes, hit 5-of-6 at the end of the game to seal the win.

Rodney Purvis:
"I asked Scott before the game 'Man are you gonna turn your swag' on."

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