The margin of victory should have been greater than what it was, but a win is a win- as they always say. The North Carolina State Wolfpack took down the Cleveland State Vikings 80-63 in a game that wasn’t a true blowout, which is a little disappointing. N.C. State didn’t control the boards, there were a pair of starters who looked ineffective overall. But still, the Wolfpack won this game and received two great performances from stars C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell.
Is there anyone with a hotter hand in college basketball right now than Richard Howell? After a heroic game against the Connecticut Huskies, Howell put up a double-double on Cleveland State with an efficient 17 points to go with ten boards. He also dished three assists for good measure.
C.J. Leslie was even better, and the star forward missed just one shot for a game-high 19 points. He also grabbed eight boards in this one. The bench was led by T.J. Warren, who was excellent in going for 16 points on 6-8 shooting with a pair of blocks.
Now for the bad. Scott Wood was really, really bad in this game, and it might be the worst we’ll ever see him play all year. He couldn’t create a shot and when he did, he ended up missing them. Wood was a “perfect” 0-5 from the floor, including 0-3 from three-point land.
Cleveland State did not total a block shot in this game and had just three steals. Their leading scorer (Charlie Lee) had 15 points, but he was actually awful in this game. He turned it over eight (!) times and shot 5-14 from the floor (2-7 from deep). Center Devon Long was the Vikings best player in a 12-9 game.
Rodney Purvis went just 3-8 from the floor. And yes, a walk-0n in backup guard Chase Cannon had more points (three, made his only shot of the game) than Wood (two).
One of Cleveland State’s bench players, Bryn Forbes, was 2-10 and 1-6 from three.
N.C. State are still undefeated at home, and have a 6-2 record overall as the No. 25 team in the nation. The Wolfpack are hanging on to the final spot in the polls, and they will likely keep it even if some people came away a little bit disappointed by this win. I’ll spare the overreaction.
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