NC State continued its early season dominance with another impressive defensive showing, defeating North Florida 86-51 Friday evening in Reynolds Coliseum.
For the second game in a row, the Wolfpack turned defense into offense forcing 19 North Florida turnovers resulting in 24 points for NC State. The Ospreys were able to win the rebound battle, out-rebounding the Wolfpack 34-32. NC State controlled the paint on the defensive end tallying six blocks.
Head coach Kevin Keatts displayed a different starting lineup from Wednesday night’s contest resulting in a more balanced box score, with four players finishing in double figures. Junior forward Jericole Hellems topped the Wolfpack with 17 points, followed by freshman Cam Hayes with 13 points, six assist, and no turnovers. Post players DJ Funderburke and Manny Bates added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Like Wednesday, NC State jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead which would expand to 13-3 before North Florida settled in to trim the Wolfpack lead to 15-12. NC State responded with a run pushing their lead to 12 at 26-14. North Florida wouldn’t go away quietly. cutting the Wolfpack lead to 27-22. Another run from the Pack extended their lead to 42-28 at the half.
NC State would remain in control the rest of the contest, with leads of 56-37 and 65-39. The Wolfpack would build their lead to 30 at the 5:35 mark at 73-43. The biggest lead of the night would be 84-48 with just under two minutes remaining with the Wolfpack closing the deal for their second win of the Mako Medical Wolfpack Intercollegiate.
Next up, the Pack will take on William & Mary Monday, November 30th.