Furman and North Carolina State will bring plenty of firepower to their matchup Tuesday evening at Raleigh, N.C.
Furman (7-3) average 82.3 points per game behind the high-scoring duo of Mike Bothwell (20.3) and Jalen Slawson (15.5).
North Carolina State (8-3) average 81 points a game, led by the backcourt duo of Terquavion Smith (17.8) and Jarkel Joiner (17.6).
Defense has been the sticking point for both teams.
Last week, after an 85-82 loss at home to High Point, Furman coach Bob Richey criticized his squad after the Paladins surrendered 59.3 percent shooting from the floor and 64.7 percent accuracy from 3-point range.
“It’s guts, it’s toughness,” Richey said. “The secret’s out. It doesn’t take long to watch the tape and see that we have some guys that don’t put a lot of pride in guarding the basketball.”
But Saturday, in an 82-67 win over Winthrop, the Paladins remedied their lackadaisical defense, especially on the perimeter, as they limited the Eagles to 23.8 percent shooting on 3-pointers.
“I’m really proud of (them),” Richey said. “Our team was strong and courageous tonight.”
Also on Saturday, NC State built a 16-point lead before withering in the second half of an 80-73 loss to Miami. After the break, the Wolfpack allowed shooting of 57.1 percent and 50 percent from the field and long distance, respectively.
“We didn’t get a lot of stops when we needed to at the end,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said. “And giving them 21 points in transition is never a good thing.”
It was a tie game with four minutes left, but Miami scored 13 points on its final seven possessions to hand NC State its second ACC loss. The Wolfpack got plenty of offense from Joiner (26 points), Smith (19 points, seven assists) and interior force DJ Burns Jr. (16 points, eight rebounds).
NC State has dominated the series with Furman, 31-2. This is the teams’ first meeting since 1985.
–Field Level Media