NC State Wolfpack drops Gotham Classic game to West Virginia, 83-69

NEW YORK, NY Dec. 21, 2014 – In an intense game played in Madison Square Garden, the NC State men’s basketball team dropped a 83-69 decision to No. 22/20 West Virginia Saturday night.

Dec 20, 2014; New York, NY, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Anthony Barber (12) grabs a loose ball in front of West Virginia Mountaineers guard Gary Browne (14) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

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Trevor Lacey led the Wolfpack (9-3) with 24 points on 8-15 shooting. Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber added 16 points. WVU was led by Juwan Staten’s 24 points. The Wolfpack shot a season-best 20-36 from the floor, including 8-14 from 3-point range.

West Virginia’s full-court pressure harassed the Wolfpack into 16 turnovers in the first half. The Pack shored up its ball security in the second half but finished with 23 turnovers. West Virginia made 10 steals and entered the game leading the country in forced turnovers.

The Wolfpack trailed 41-32 at halftime, but came alive beginning with a put-back by BeeJay Anya just after halftime. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Lacey got the Pack in the game. The Wolfpack trailed 52-48 when Lacey nailed a trey right in front of State’s bench. A 3-pointer by Tarik Phillip and a pair of step-back jumpers by Staten put WVU in control again.

Gott Said It: “In the first half, their pressure bothered us. We played like a young team. We had 16 turnovers. We got in a hurry. I thought their defense sped us up. We did not play with a lot of poise and that was all to their credit. They did a nice job with their pressure. I thought in the second half we settled down and played. We handled the pressure much better. When you look down through the numbers of the game, we shoot nearly 60 percent in the second half. We only turn it over seven times. A couple of those were offensive charges. They were not ball-handling mistakes. I thought in the first half their pressure bothered us, got us flustered and we did not handle it very well. Staten late in the game just took it over. He had four or five possessions where he took the game over – like a player of his caliber should. They are obviously a lot more experienced than we are and they played that way.”

Up Next: NC State returns to PNC Arena to play Louisiana Tech, a team that won 29 games last season. That game is Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.