Wolfpack too much for the Mountaineers

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Tim Cowie - Tim Cowie Photography

Appalachian State takes on NC State in non-conference men’s basketball action at PNC Arena on Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo courtesy: App State Athletic/ Tim Cowie

Noah Gerringer

The Appalachian State Mountaineers took a trip to the state capital Thursday night to take on the NC State Wolfpack. In their second ACC match this season, the Mountaineers were unable to get anything going and fell to the Wolfpack 97-64.

The beginning of the game seemed almost identical to the loss against Duke back in November. NC State (8-2) won the tip and took control of the game going on a 10-0 run compared to the Blue Devils’ 12-0 run.

The Mountaineers (3-6) struggled getting offensive rebounds early in the game but managed to land a handful of buckets early and cut the lead to 12-5.

Sophomore guard Ronshad Shabazz lead the Mountaineers in scoring, shooting six-for-19 with 14 points and junior guard Jake Babic followed close behind going three-for-five with 10 points.

The Mountaineers had no trouble getting looks and taking shots as they shot 76 total times and 29 times from 3-point range. They outshot their opponents by a wide margin with the Wolfpack only shooting 56 total times and 10 times from the 3-point range. The trouble they had were with the shots falling in their favor.

“I thought we had tremendous opportunities to make shots, shots we usually make and we just missed them today,” head coach Jim Fox said.

At halftime, App State was two-for-12 from 3-point range while the Wolfpack were a perfect four-for-four.

“When you’re missing open shots over and over again it just wears on you throughout the game,” Fox said.

The Mountaineers certainly were getting worn down. In the first half alone, NC State was 14-18 from the foul line. App only managed shooting four-for-six from the line.

Shooting wasn’t the only issue in the game. App State turned the ball over 11 times which led to 14 points off turnovers throughout the game. When it came to rebounds, the Mountaineers fought hard for the ball but overall were outrebounded 45-41.

NC State had 13 fast breaks throughout the night and 46 points off the bench.

The little bit of light that did shine for the Mountaineers were the 14 second chance points they put up.

It wasn’t hard to single out what the team needs to work on the most.

“Rebounding as a team and defense all around, period. Just defense,” Shabazz said.

Shabazz tallied his 26th double-digit scoring game of his career and eighth of the season while Babic collected his ninth and third of the season Thursday night.

“It shows us what we need to work on and we go back to the drawing board and we work,” Shabazz said.

The Mountaineers will return home this Saturday to face James Madison University at 1 p.m. at Holmes Convocation Center.

Story By: Noah Gerringer, Sports Reporter