West Virginia's offense ran much more smoothly in the second half of the Mountaineers 71-60 win over the N.C. State Wolfpack, but the improved flow and continuity sprang from an unexpected quarter.
According to WVU point guard Darris Nichols, much of the improvement sprang from the Mountaineers' defensive play, which held the Pack to just 18.8% from three-point range in the game. WVU switched to its man-to-man defense for several stretches in the period after noting that N.C. State was mostly unsuccessful against that alignment in the opening 20 minutes.
West Virginia was also more aggressive in its halfcourt sets in the final half, driving the ball to the hoop and taking the action to the Wolfpack. that resulted not only in a few close in opportunities, but also in kickout passes for open three-pointers. With the offense functioning more smoothly, WVU made eight of its 14 attempts from beyond the arc in the second half.
Listen as Nichols describes the differences between the halves and explains the keys that helped the Mountaineers defeat their ACC foe.