Mon, 18 Jan 2021

William Mary to face tough NC State defense

Field Level Media
30 Nov 2020, 04:55 GMT+10

North Carolina State has turned up the heat on defense in its first two games.

And the Wolfpack (2-0) will be looking to do more of the same and keep their record spotless when they host William Mary (0-1) on Monday night in Raleigh.

NC State opened the season Wednesday against Charleston Southern, winning 95-61, and followed that effort with an 86-51 win over North Florida on Friday. In the two blowouts, the Wolfpack have held their opponents to 42 percent shooting from the field, including 41.4 percent from behind the arc.

Coach Kevin Keatts credited his defense.

"We're playing with great energy and passion," Keatts said. "On Wednesday, we had 54 deflections in the game. We try to get 40 per game. Guys are playing really, really hard.

"I'm basing their minutes on how hard they play on the defensive end, not how many shots you make. I think that's helped."

Devon Daniels leads the squad in scoring (18.0 points per game) and rebounds (6.5). Manny Bates tops the team with 3.5 blocks per game.

While NC State has two games under its belt, William Mary didn't open the season until Saturday in an 86-78 road loss to Old Dominion.

If coach Dane Fischer wants to duplicate last season's excellent 21-11 overall record (13-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association), he will rely on youth after losing four starters.

In the loss to Old Dominion, William Mary started three freshmen -- Connor Kochera, Ben Wight and Yuri Covington. Kochera made an immediate impression by draining all but one of his seven 3-point attempts. He finished with 19 points before fouling out.

Covington, a guard from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., tallied 13 points and had four assists though he shot just 3-for-11 from the field.

Senior guard Luke Loewe also had a strong night, posting his first career double-double.

The Fond du Lac, Wis., native -- who led the CAA in 3-point shooting last season with a 43.9 percent success rate -- recorded 16 points and 10 assists.

"I think the (3-pointer) is going to be incredibly important," Fischer said. "It was important last year and was one of the things that made our team hard to guard."

--Field Level Media

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