by Mike Potter
REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State is back home for a Thanksgiving Eve meeting with Jacksonville, and all things considered there’s an active and enthusiastic crowd in the house.
The deeper Wolfpack has started the season on a hot streak.
Jacksonville, of the Atlantic Sun Conference, is 0-3 for just the third time in school history.
The streaks hold up pretty convincingly in this one, as State rolls to an 80-42 victory.
The Wolfpack has no trouble taking control of this one. State takes an 11-5 lead on a Kody Burke follow shot at the 17:38 mark and never looks back.
It’s 34-13 following an Erica Donovan 3-pointer at 7:12, and all 13 State players hit the floor in the first half as the Pack leads 38-20 at the break.
Burke has nine points at the break for State, which shoots 43.2 percent to the Dolphins’ 23.5.
The Dolphins never threaten in the second. State’s largest lead is 44, at 78-34 on a pair of Kiana Evans free throws with 4:38 to go.
Freshman Krystal Barrett leads the Wolfpack with 14 points, followed by classmate Donovan with 13, both off the bench. Bonae Holston adds 12 points with eight rebounds, Marissa Kastanek 11 without missing a shot and Burke 11. Lakeesa Daniel has a career-high 12 rebounds to go with her six points.
Peeples leads Jacksonville with 13 points.
State shoots 39.0 percent to the Dolphins’ 24.2 and wins the rebound battle 64-40, the rebound total the Wolfpack’s highest in 20 years. State commits 20 turnovers to Jacksonville’s 22.
The Wolfpack will take Nebraskan Kastanek to Creighton for a home-state game on Sunday.
They said it …
Harper: “I’m extremely proud of our players for coming in and taking care of business. We knew that Jacksonville has been struggling a little bit and we actually talked about that with our players. … That’s the first time I’ve ever done that. … We talked about wanting to be sharp tonight. At times we were. We had a lapse offensively in the first half where we were sporadic. But we did some good things and it’s a good building block.”
Holston: “It’s great that we have some depth. I’m able to do more small things like getting steals and more rebounds. I keep trying to find more little things I can do.”
Barrett: “I just keep a positive mind to do what I can. I ask questions at practice. I think the freshmen are fitting right in. I just go with the flow.”
What does it all mean?
That the Wolfpack continues to show solid depth and everything looks headed in the right direction.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Donovan’s 3-pointer to make it 34-13.
Jacksonville at Wake Forest, Friday, 6:30 p.m.
State at Creighton, Sunday, 3 p.m.