Friday, March 10, 2006

Wake stays, State goes

Wake Forest beat N.C. State 82-71, and "wow" is all I can say. I mean I know Wake Forest beat N.C. State a week ago on March 4th and everything, but they are the #12 seed in this tournament, and they are still going to be playing on Semifinal Saturday. N.C. State has looked lost since the North Carolina game, and I don't think too many people would disagree with that statement, and how could they? State hasn't won a game since they played Virginia Tech on February 18th!

Today, State really lost the game in the first half. They actually outscore Wake Forest in the second half by 7 points, but it's pretty hard to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit. Outside of Gavin Grant (9 of 13 shooting) and Cameron Bennerman (10 of 19 shooting,) N.C. State was pretty bad from the field. Taking out those two guys, the rest of the Wolfpack shot just 9 of 30 from the floor for 24 points. For N.C. State fans, thankfully this loss doesn't impact whether the Wolfpack will make the tournament. They were a solid tournament team before this game and will definitely hear their named called on Selection Sunday. It WILL however affect their seeding. N.C. State at one time was thought to be a solid #3 or #4 seed but after dropping their last four games, they might now be selected as a #8 or #9 seed. If that's the case, N.C. State's second round game could be against a top-ranked seed like UConn, Villanova, or Memphis.

For Wake Forest, three guys stood out. In the first half, Michael Drum stood out even though it didn't always show up in the stat sheet. He just gave the Deacons a spark and finished with 12 points and 5 assists. I think Skip Prosser picked up on Drum's effort on both sides of the ball because he left him in for all but one minute. Justin Gray turned in another amazing effort. He was the most generous player on the court, dishing out ten assists, but still managed to score 19 points of his own. In the second half, Eric Williams took over for the Deacons. He scored 20 points with all but 4 of them coming in the second half. After one score inside the lane, Williams sprinted up the court and saluted to his mom who went crazy. She was sitting right behind me in the stands, and I don't know if many parents dress up as much as she does. She definitely loves her Demon Deacon center.

If more stats are what you want, then you shall have them. Here are the stat leaders for the afternoon game:

Wake Forest
Points - Eric Williams - 20 pts
Rebounds - Eric Williams - 8 rbs
Assists - Justin Gray - 10 ast

NC State
Points - Gavin Grant - 24 pts
Rebounds - Tony Bethel - 6 rbs
Assists - Three tied with 3 ast

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