Bethel, Hodge Shine in Exhibition Win

<B>RALEIGH, NC --</b> They've been talking about the chemistry Julius Hodge and Tony Bethel have on the basketball court, and the duo looked great tonight in NC State's 82-46 exhibition victory over the Fayetteville State Broncos.

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    Hodge and Bethel led the Wolfpack in scoring as both chipped in 18 points on the night. Hodge, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, scored in a variety of ways while Bethel hit 5 of 7 from 3-point range to tally 15 of his 18 points.

    Both teams began slow, with the Wolfpack leading just 6-4 at the first official's timeout. However, NC State's defensive intensity picked up and after a quick spurt the Wolfpack led 17-8 and never looked back. Applying pressure throughout the half, the Wolfpack led 41-18 at the break. Defensively, NC State was at its best, forcing 19 first half turnovers and registering 51 deflections before intermission.

    Guys were trying," Sendek said. "I think we had 51 first half deflections. That has to be some kind of record."

    The Wolfpack shot just 41.7% from the field in the first half, but turned it up in the second half, connecting on 50% of their attempts.

    Leading the way was Bethel, who hit all four of his three point attempts in the half before leaving to a nice ovation from the Wolfpack faithful in attendance.

    "In the second half we started to knockdown open shots," Bethel said.

    Despite the comfortable victory, there were some concerns, and obviously in areas that can be corrected. NC State led the nation in free throw shooting last year, but struggled mightily against the Broncos. The Wolfpack connected on just 15 of 31 attempts, which had to concern head coach Herb Sendek.

    "Obviously we didn't give ourselves any opportunity to score more points with the way we shot free throws," Sendek said following the game.

    NC State hits the hardwood again next week against St. Augustine's College in their final exhibition game before starting the season in the BCA Invitational.

    Notables

  • All eleven scholarship players played for the Wolfpack.

  • Freshmen Cedric Simmons, Gavin Grant, and Andrew Brackman combined to shoot just 5 of 14 from the free throw line.

  • Wolfpack head coach Herb Sendek nearly missed the game due to illness. The head coach was suffering from flu-like symptoms and he missed the morning shootaround.

  • NC State started Tony Bethel, Engin Atsur, Julius Hodge, Levi Watkins, and Jordan Collins.

  • Fayetteville State starting guards Tyreece Brown and Donell Williams didn't suit up for the Broncos.

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