NC STATE WOLFPACK goes 1-1 in Legends Classic



NC State (3-2) had to overcome a hot second half LSU Tiger team to garner its third win of the season in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center consolation game on Wednesday night.  The #22 ranked Tigers, like the Wolfpack, were coming off a close previous evening loss to Marquette 81-80.

LSU (3-2) down by 12 points clawed their way back into the game with aggressive defense and better shot selections, while the Wolfpack went cold from the floor in the second half after a very good first half.   Fortunately for NC State, once LSU had drawn even and then gone up by as many as five points, the Wolfpack corrected its shooting woes and played better defense.

The final two minutes of regulation looked pretty dire for the Pack as LSU opened up a 63-58 lead.  Then Anthony “Cat” Barber took over with penetration drives that sparked a run of 5 of 6 consecutive free throws that enabled the Pack to pull even at 63.  With 7.9 seconds it appeared Malik-Abdul Abu was fouled and had scored the go ahead basket after a missed shot attempt.  However, after review, the call was reversed and a shot violation handed the ball back to LSU.  Two strategic intentional defensive fouls and solid defense on the last play caused LSU’s Antonio Blakeney to take a difficult three-point shot for the win that rimmed out.

In overtime, NC State immediately seized momentum and led the entire way until the the Tigers became desperate down the stretch as the Pack won by 10 points 82-72.

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Five players reached double figures for the Wolfpack as the Martin twins put on quite a show accounting for 30 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots.

“Our plan was to really crowd the lane, flood the lane, put everybody basically the sink and clog it up and not let him (Ben Simmons) going with his penetration,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said.  The plan worked to perfection as the freshman who had 20 points and 20 rebounds the night before was held to only 4 points.  Simmons did have 14 rebounds and 10 assists, but it was a matter of “picking your poison” as Gottfried later said.”

Quick Stats–  vs LSU Tigers

Caleb Martin (16pts, 9 rebounds)

Cody Martin (14 pts, 10 rebounds)

Anthony Barber (20 pts, 7 rebounds, 7 assists)

Abdul-Malik Abu (15 pts, 12 rebounds)

Maverick Rowan (10 pts, 4 rebounds)

Nov 24, 2015; Brooklyn , NY, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Anthony Barber. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

FINAL:   NC STATE  83  –  LSU  72

NC STATE loses close game

NC State lost to first-year coach Bobby Hurley and his Arizona State Sun Devils (3-2).  It could have been worse.  We could have lost to Herb Sendek who coached the team until he was let go last year.  The game was the first of a two-night event called the Legends Classic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City.

The Sun Devils had a balanced offensive attack with four players scoring in double-figures.

North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried:  “Our concern right now is making sure we get better.  I don’t think we’re a great basketball team right now. I thought our guys battled and we played pretty hard but we’ve just got a number of situations where it’s a key play and a key time and a team has to learn how to make key plays at the right time.”

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Quick Stats– vs Arizona State Sun Devils                                                          

Caleb Martin (12 pts, 2 rebounds)                                                                                                                                               Anthony Barber (22 pts, 6 rebounds, 8 assists)                                                                                                                              Abdul-Malik Abu (10 pts, 3 rebounds)                                                                                                                                           Maverick Rowan (14 pts, 5 rebound)                                                                                                                                               BeeJay Anya (6 pts, 2 blocks, 6 rebounds)                                                                                                                                       Lennard Freeman (3 pts, 5 rebounds)