Gameday Live Blog/Open Thread: State vs. Appalachian State

Brett Friedlander

The NC State basketball team should be used to playing shorthanded by now. There hasn't been many games this season during which coach Kevin Keatts has had his full complement of scholarship players available at one time.

That won't happen again today.

This time the missing man is redshirt senior wing C.J. Bryce, the Wolfpack's leading scorer and rebounder. 

State has announced that Bryce is in concussion protocol, presumably from an injured suffered at practice since the team returned from its early week Christmas break. 

Since Bryce hasn't started either of the past two games, there's no change in the lineup for today's final nonconference test. The Wolfpack will go with Markell Johnson -- who's coming off a triple-double -- Braxton Beverly, Devon Daniels, Pat Andree and Manny Bates ...

Sparce gathering here at PNC, it appears, with A LOT of App State fans from the sound of the reception the Mountaineers got during pregame warmups.

First half

Manny Bates is a skilled shot blocker and solid defender. When he adds an offensive element to his game, he's going to be something. But he's not there yet. Kid just missed a layup he should have dunked. Funderburk into the game for him.  ...

Beverly showing no signs of the back injury that kept him out of the second half last week against The Citadel. He looked smooth hitting his first shot, a 3 from the left corner. ...

And now another one from the opposite side ... 

State up 10-4 (good buddy) ... at the first TV timeout. ...

The Wolfpack isn't off to a blistering start, shooting only 41.7 percent from the floor (5 of 12), but it's doing a nice job of defending so far. App State is 4 for its first 14 (26.6 percent) and has missed all three of its 3-pointers.

Under 12 TV timeout, State leads 14-9

Funderburk and Bates getting some run together here. ...

Wolfpack on one of its trademark scoring droughts ... two minutes so far. App State ties it at 15 with a 6-0 run before Funderburk scores at the rim as he's fouled. I know it's early, but it's starting to feel like State is going to miss Bryce in this one. The Mountaineers are no world-beaters, but they are 8-4 and have some nice pieces ...

Appalachian State big man Hunter Seacat could be Danny Dixon's twin. Hopefully Keatts will put Dixon onto the game so we can see the two dopplegangers go head-to-head on the court. ... 

Under 8 TV timeout: State 20, App State 18

State was just 2 of its last nine from the floor before Funderburk scored from close range . Funderburk has been begging to play power forward and with Bates also on the court, he's getting the chance. He leads the Wolfpack with nine points ...

Bates stuffs a block attempt by the Mountaineers' Isaac Johnson and comes down snarling .... He's got two blocks officially. But I know I've seen him get at least one other one ...

Dixon into the game ... and Seacat is guarding him. It's like seeing double!

Under 4 TV timeout ... Wolfpack 24, Mountaineers 20 

Beverly made his first two 3-pointers, but has missed five straight. State is 2 for 10 from beyond the arc today ...

Hellems finally gets a 3 to go down and the crowd is finally into it … 29-22 State

Johnson drives to the rim in traffic and makes a nice scoop shot at the buzzer to send the Wolfpack into the half up by 9 ...

State ended the half on an 11-4 run and leads 35-26 after 20 minutesSA

app half box

Second half

Markell Johnson is way off ... he's just 2 for 8, missing all three of his shots here in the second half. ...

App State isn't going away. After State extended its lead to 11 early, Mountaineers have svcored six straight to get to within five ...

Under 16 TV timeout: Wolfpack 39, Mountaineers 34

Two of Johnson's baskets tonight have come on circus shots .... 

Andree with a nice assist to Funderburk, who is having a big game -- 16 points, four rebounds so far ...

Beverly has now missed eight straight 3-point attempts since making his first two tonight ...  . Wolfpack is 3 of 15 as a team beyond the arc. ...

Under 12 TV timeout: State 46, App State 41

There's Beverly's ninth straight 3-point miss. ...

Funderburk with the oop off Johnson's alley extends the Wolfpack's lead back to six at 50-44. App State, which hasn't scored in two minutes, wants timeout ...

A basket out of the timeout, followed by an offensive rebound and putback off the and-one miss and just like that App State is back to within two at 50-48 ...

Great hustle by Daniels to save a possession after Johnson misses a long heave at the shot clock buzzer. Johnson gets fouled, but makes only one of the two ...

After another Johnson free throw miss, Bates rebounds and scores. ....

Under 8: Wolfpack 54, Mountaineers 48

Not sure if it's by design or because of Bryce's absence, but Keatts going with both Funderburk and Bates on the floor at the same time a lot more at any point this season today  ...

Johnson not having a good day at all today, but he's still got 8 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Still six minutes to go ...

Daniels with a 3 from the corner and it's an 11-1 Wolfpack run. State finally getting some separation at 61-49 ...

Braxton Beverly heading back to the locker room. The back issue that knocked him out of last week's game against The Citadel might be acting up again. State's bench is getting VERY short. Just four guys in uniform left over there, and two are walkons. ...

And now App State's Isaac Johnson is down after hitting the floor hard in a collision with Manny Bates. He's up now, but walking very gingerly back to the bench ...

They're calling a flagrant 1 on Bates on the play ...

Beverly is back from the locker room. Sitting on the bench in the first seat next to the scorer's table. Looks like he's available to come back in if needed.

And now he's back in the game ...

Final TV timeout: State 62, App State 53

Johnson with six assists now. Probably not enough time left to get four more with 2:11 left ...

Justin Forrest misses two straight free throws ... free chicken for everyone!

State is outrebounding App State 51-34. ...

Human victory cigars into the game ... State's going to win this one for victory No. 10 on the season heading into the bulk of ACC play ...

Final: Wolfpack 72, Mountaineers 60

App final box
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