New Hampshire 62

(2-10, 0-2 Am. East)

(19) NC State 81

(10-1, 1-0 ACC)

    7:00 PM ET, December 28, 2005

    PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    UNH 18 4462
    #19NCST 44 3781

    Top Performers

    New Hampshire: C. Vetrano 20 Pts, 5 Ast

    NC State: E. Atsur 15 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Wolfpack coast to 81-62 win over Wildcats

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Four players in double figures. A healthy advantage in rebounds. A 19-point victory.

    Somehow, few on the North Carolina State side were satisfied.

    "New Hampshire made us look bad," coach Herb Sendek said. "Our attention has got to be on our defense."

    Still, the 19th-ranked Wolfpack won 81-62 Wednesday night behind 15 points from Engin Atsur -- all on 3-pointers -- and 14 from reserve Andrew Brackman.

    Ilian Evtimov had 11 points for N.C. State (10-1), which tuned up for Friday's game with No. 12 George Washington with its fifth straight victory. But the Wolfpack were outscored by seven points in the second half and allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent for the second consecutive game.

    Those are the only two times it's happened this season.

    "The other team came out and knocked down a lot of 3s, and they were doing pretty well for themselves," Evtimov said. "We couldn't stop them, unfortunately. That's not a good sign. We're a good defensive team, and we just let them off the hook."

    This one appeared to get ugly from the start for the Wildcats (2-10). Jamaal Caterina was called for a foul just seven seconds after the opening tip while trying to guard N.C. State center Cedric Simmons in the paint. Another whistle against Caterina about 2½ minutes later -- again while matched up against Simmons -- sent him to the bench.

    And leading scorer Blagoj Janev finished with only seven points, about half his average. He didn't take his first shot until eight minutes were left in the opening half, and he got his first points on a pair of free throws early in the second half. In fact, all but three of his points came at the line.

    It's been that kind of year for New Hampshire and first-year coach Bill Herrion. He spent the previous six seasons at East Carolina -- about a 90-minute ride from Raleigh -- before getting fired, and decided to take on the task of rebuilding one of the worst programs in Division I.

    The Wildcats have had two winning seasons in the past 21 years and never have been to the NCAA tournament or the NIT. With their seventh loss in eight games, they likely won't end that drought this year.

    "It's been a difficult stretch for us," Herrion said. "We're young, we've been beaten around, and we've played 10 of our first 12 games on the road."

    Of course, none of that really mattered to the Wolfpack. They methodically went about their business and got another their lopsided victory to improve to 8-0 at home.

    N.C. State pulled away mostly from the perimeter, and even when the shots weren't falling, someone often was there for an offensive rebound. In the first half alone, the Wolfpack shot 8-of-16 from beyond the arc and 16-for-32 overall. Of those 16 misses, 10 were corralled by one of their players.

    "They have a lot of weapons, and you really have to pick your poison defensively," Herrion said. "You can play man, but they're very patient in their offense and take you to the basket. Then, when you play zone, they spread you out and kill you with 3-pointers."

    One stretch was particularly damaging to New Hampshire. With the score 22-9, Atsur sandwiched a couple of 3s around an inside basket by Simmons, and Cameron Bennerman added two of his own to give the Wolfpack a 39-18 lead.

    They hardly were done, thanks to some brilliant unselfishness best highlighted with one sequence a few minutes later. On one fast break, all five players touched the ball and passed to a teammate without dribbling, with Tony Bethel taking an open 3-pointer.

    He missed, but Grant was there for the offensive rebound and turned the opportunity into two free throws. In all, N.C. State finished with 21 assists and only five turnovers, easily its best ratio of the season.

    "When you play unselfishly, you give it to the next guy, and then the next guy plays unselfishly, and it starts spreading around the team," Evtimov said. "That's good, that's what we need."

    Chris Vetrano had 14 of his 17 points in the second half for New Hampshire.

    "We're just lucky we don't have to play against teams like this every night, because they're a good team," said Wildcats forward Mike Christensen, who had 10 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 62 81
    FG Made-Attempted 23-51 (.451) 26-56 (.464)
    3P Made-Attempted 11-28 (.393) 10-26 (.385)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-6 (.833) 19-29 (.655)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 9 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 32

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 28, 2005 @NCST 81, UNH 62Recap