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NC State shoots for rebound performance vs. Richmond

Sportsnaut
Dec 12, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Terquavion Smith (0) dribbles up court against North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Thomas Allen (5) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Terquavion Smith (0) dribbles up court against North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Thomas Allen (5) during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina State will have to find the right mindset to move on after nearly securing a memorable result.

That’s one of the goals for the Wolfpack going into a game against Richmond. The teams meet Friday night as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout in Charlotte, N.C.

“If you look at it, we’re starting freshmen and sophomores, and we’re really playing at a high level,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said. “So we’ve just got to build on it. … Everybody is still trying to figure out their teams and you just don’t know how your team is going to respond.”

NC State (7-3, 0-1 ACC) couldn’t hold a double-digit, second-half lead against then-No. 1 Purdue, falling in overtime in a neutral-court game Sunday at Brooklyn, N.Y.

Keatts said the Wolfpack should gain confidence despite the outcome.

“We had our chances, and we can play with anyone,” Keatts said. “If you’re going to play these guys like that, it shows that you can play with anybody in the country.”

The emergence of freshman guard Terquavion Smith has been one of the bright spots for the Wolfpack. He had a season-high 21 points in the Purdue game.

“He doesn’t know that he’s not supposed to be good,” Keatts said. “That’s what makes him special.”

Richmond (6-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10) has won three games in a row, and gaining more momentum would benefit the Spiders.

“We’re a pretty confident group,” Richmond guard Jacob Gilyard said. “We’re a senior-led team. At the end of the day, we just have to come out and prove it every game. We’re not really worried about our record.”

Gilyard is the NCAA’s all-time leader in steals for Division I with 391. He set the record earlier this month, and he might need to set the tone if the Spiders are going to be successful.

“Defense — we’re going to say it all year, but that’s what it comes down to,” Gilyard said.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney said using a pressing defense from time to time seems to benefit the Spiders.

“It also gives you some energy and opens the game up a little bit,” Mooney said.

Richmond is 0-2 all-time against the Wolfpack. This is the first meeting in seven years.

–Field Level Media