Prior to Anya’s outburst, the previous record for most blocked shots in a game by a N.C. State player was nine from Thurl Bailey (1983) and Todd Fuller (1995). The forward from the Washington, D.C. nearly finished with a triple-double as he also had seven points and eight rebounds. The sophomore did not play the final 10:35 of the game.
“He has that knack,” N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “He has long arms but he also has a knack to block your shot. Sometimes he kind-of baits you into it and he almost dares you to try to get the shot off. He has confidence that he can block your shot.”
Anya, who also played a career-best 25 minutes, had four of his rejections on one possession in the first half. N.C. State held the Dolphins scoreless for over 10 minutes as the Wolfpack scored 21 straight points after Jacksonville jumped out to an early, 5-0, lead.
“I was trying to figure out why they kept coming in there,” Anya said jokingly. “They told me I needed a few points and rebounds [for a triple-double]. I was too tired.”
Freeman, who was one point short of a double-double in the Pack’s last outing on Monday, finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the win. The sophomore is averaging over nine boards per game in the first three contests.
Martin came off the bench with 15:17 left in the first half after redshirt-senior Ralston Turner picked up two quick fouls. The freshman from Mocksville shot 6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-5 from three-point range and added four rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
“My teammates penetrated from the top and got me open looks,” Martin said. “The ‘bigs’ made them double-down, which then left me open to spot up.”
After leading N.C. State in scoring in its exhibition win over Queens, Martin only had three points in his first two collegiate games.
“Caleb struggled a little bit the other night, I didn’t play him in the second half,” Gottfried said. “I think he was hungry. He was biting at the bit.”
With the win, N.C. State has started the season with victories in its first three games in six of the last seven seasons. Gottfried is encouraged by what he has seen in the first two weeks of the regular season.
“It is early, but I am excited about our team,” Gottfried said. “I like the fact that we are built to be a better defensive team. We are stronger on the perimeter. [Anya] gives us that presence inside that not a lot of teams have, so I like that. We just have to keep getting better. I think everything that starts with this group will start with its defense.”