GameDay Live Blog/Open Thread: State vs. Miami

Brett Friedlander

There's big news at PNC Arena before tonight's game between NC State and Miami ...

Manny Bates has added some color to his hair, giving it a distinctive red tint.

Okay, so that's not really the biggest news of the night. That would be the return of C.J. Bryce for the first time in four games.

The redshirt senior wing, who has been sidelined since suffering a concussion in a pregame shootaround on Dec. 29, has been cleared to play and his return has been confirmed by a team spokeman.

The Wolfpack can certainly used Bryce, a leader, a defender and a poised veteran whose contribution goes far beyond the stat sheet. At 2-3 in the ACC one fourth of the way through the league schedule, the Wolfpack can't afford to drop another home game, especially against another middle-of-the-standings team.

Before things get started, here are some of the stories we've done leading up to tonight's game to help set the scene ...

Keatts: Slow ACC Start Not a Wasted Opportunity 

Wolfpack Tipoff: Game 17, Miami

Upcoming Home Games Pivotal For Wolfpack

PREGAME

Mike Eades, Tim Clougherty and Jeffery Clark are the officials tonight.

Bryce is not in the starting lineup for the Wolfpack, but there is one change of note. D.J. Funderburk, who has been State's best and most consistent player over the past couple of weeks, will get his first start of the season in place of Jericole Hellems. Keatts going with the big lineup against the taller Hurricanes, who start two players taller than 6-foot-11 ...

Miami might be tall (with the notable exception of 5-7 point guard Chris Lykes), but they're thin ... that's thin as in lack of manpower. Coach Jim Larranaga's team has three players averaging more than 30 minutes per game and another averaging 29. State isn't deep either, but it does now have a full complement of nine scholarship players ...

FIRST HALF 

State's interior defense has left something to be desired here in the early going. Two of Miami's first three baskets have come on uncontested dunks. The Wolfpack, meanwhile, has missed its first three field goal attempts ...

Lykes fouled out of Miami's most recent game, a win against Pitt on Saturday. He just picked up a quick one on Markell Johnson, who converted the and-one to get State going ... 

First TV timeout: State 7, Miami 7

Bryce into the game after the timeout. He gets a big cheer when the crowd at PNC notices him on the floor. And an even bigger one the first time he touches the ball. Bryce immediately gets an offensive rebound, but the Wolfpack can't convert. ...

Bryce then gets called for an offensive foul after running into a Miami defender in transition. There wasn't much contact, but you hold your breath the first few times that happens after a concussion ...

My goodness Lykes is good … He just hit an off-balance 3 as Beverly fouled him, then converted the 4-point play. Beverly has had a problem with fouls lately, too. ...

Danny Dixon into the game. Keatts finally has all his pieces in place and he's using them ...

That didn't last long. Two possessions and two fouls .... Dixon back to the bench ...

Under 12 TV timeout: Miami 14, State 11

Bates already had three blocks ...

And Andree hits his first three. Always a good sign, especially since he hasn't shot well lately ...

So State just gets Bryce back from a concussion and now Andree takes a hard shot to the face. Looks like he's okay, though, and he'll shot the free throws ...makes only one of them ...

State is only 6 of 21 from the floor … but the score is tied at the under 8: State 17, Miami 17

Funny little exchange during the timeout. Keatts wasn't happy about that last foul call and while he was having words with official Jeffery Clark, a fan in the student section yelled out a somewhat lewd (and overused) comment aimed a the refs. Clark's partner Mike Eades walked over shook his head as if to way "can't you come up with anything more original that that" and walked away laughing ...

Lykes is wearing two different colored shoes, by the way ...

Under four TV timeout: Wolfpack 23, Hurricanes 23

Beverly vs Miami
Head-to-head Beverlys ... NC State's Braxton Beverly works against Miami's Harlond Beverly

Beverly with a three from the top of the circle and State has its first lead of the night at 26-25 with just under 3 minutes left in the half ...

Now Hellems with a three and just like that, State is up 29-25. Larrañaga wants timeout ...

A Funderburk free throw and a Dainels layup after posting up on Lykes and it's a 9-0 Wolfpack run ... lead is up to 7 ...

A Hellems free throw and it's an 11-0 Wolfpack run. This is the kind of thing other teams have been doing to State lately. Wolfpack lead up to 33-25 with 34.5 seconds left in the half ...

Strange ending to the half ... First, the officials call a 10-second violation on Lykes, who brought the ball up just a bit too casually. But then, even though there were only 19 seconds left on the shot clock, the officials for some reason reversed the call and gave the ball back to the Hurricanes. After justice prevailed and Miami turned it over, Funderburk missed a dunk going into halftime.

The Wolfpack scores the final 10 points of the period over a 3:33 stretch ...

Halftime: State 33, Miami 25

mia first box

SECOND HALF

Miami breaks the 10-0 State run by scoring first to start the half. Bates and Funderburk then can't decide who would get a rebound, leading to the Hurricanes getting a pair of free throws.

But Funderburk answers with a three. As well as he's playing at the four, I'm not sure Keatts wants to see him take that shot too many times ...

We've got a break in the action here while Lykes gets his elbow attended to. He came down hard on the aforementioned foul and had some blood showing through the the white sleeve he's wearing ...

Under 16 TV timeout: State 43, Miami 35

State is shooting just 36 percent from the floor (14 of 39), but is making up for it by committing only four turnovers thus far ...

On the flip side, Four minutes, 59 seconds into the second half and State has already committed six team fouls … 

Perhaps having seen the scoreboard and the foul disparity, a phantom foul is called on Miami's Lykes ...

It took until the 12:09 mark of the second half, but Bryce is finally on the board. His floater in the lane makes it 52-40 Wolfpack  ... It was also his first shot of the night ...

Now Bryce forces a turnover ...

Under 12 TV timeout: State 52, Miami 40

State has held Miami without a field goal for the last 3 1/2 minutes. A Bryce 3-pointer extends the Wolfpack's lead to 56-42 ... Bryce is starting to get his legs under him and playing with a lot more fluiditiy than he did in the first half ...

Looked like Clark was going to call a block on Miami, but Clougherty was faster and called a charge on Hellems from all the way on the other side of the court. It's four on Hellems. Daniels has four as well. Good thing the Wolfpack has an extra player tonight. Otherwise  it might run out the way this one's being called ... 

Under 8 TV timeout: Wolfpack 63, Hurricanes 48

Daniels scoring v Miami
Devon Daniels scores against Miami's Rodney Miller

Bryce takes some heavy contact trying to take a charge (it was called a block), but comes up looking fine ...

Funderburk with a sky hook in the lane … and it was a thing of beauty!

Folks … DJ Funderburk is blossoming into an elite player. He's got 19 points and eight rebounds. He's been the best player on the team for the past couple of weeks ...

Daniels has scored the last seven points and State's lead is up to 75-55 with 3:10 left. ... 

Keatts looks pretty satisfied on the sideline as he puts Dixon into the game with 2 1/2 left ... this, I believe, is how he's envisioned his team looking. Now that everyone is back and healthy, the trick now is to do this more than once ... Clemson is up next on Saturday ...

Twenty seven seconds left, walkons Graham and Farthing in ...

Farthing for 3 .... cherry on top of this one

Final: State 80, Miami 63

mia final box
Comments

Basketball

FEATURED
COMMUNITY