Wolfpack welcomes Elon to PNC Arena for Saturday matinee

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team closes its four-game season-opening homestand Saturday afternoon when it hosts Elon at PNC Arena.

photo by Gene Galin

Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised on ACC Network Extra.

Due to the NC State football game at Louisville starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the radio broadcast of the men’s basketball game will be available online only.

Fans can listen on GoPack.com or can download The Varsity Network app to listen to Tony Haynes and Jeff Gravley call all the action.

Pack Tracks

– NC State moved to 3-0 on the season with a dominating 107-74 win over FIU on Tuesday evening. The 107 points are the second-most NC State has scored under head coach Kevin Keatts and the first time the Pack has reached 100 points in regulation since a 100-67 win over Western Carolina on Dec. 15, 2018.

– Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell each scored 26 points as the duo combined for 52 points on 19-of-28 (67.9%) shooting, including 12-of-15 (80%) from three-point range. Joiner scored 21 of his 26 points in the first half to help NC State jump out to a 25-point lead. It’s the 24th 20+-point performance of Joiner’s career. For Morsell, 26 points was a career-high and the second 20+-point performance of his career. Morsell’s six three-pointers also was a career-high.

– Sophomore guard Terquavion Smith added 15 points in the win over FIU while also tying his career-high with six assists and setting a career-high with six steals. The six steals are the most by an NC State player in the Kevin Keatts era. Smith, a preseason All-ACC First Team selection, currently ranks fourth in the conference in scoring (20.0 ppg.), ranks second in assists (5.7) and leads the ACC in steals (3.3).

– Through three games, NC State has been shooting lights out. The Pack’s top three scorers all are shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Overall, seven of NC State’s top-eight scorers are shooting 50 percent or better this season. The Pack’s 54.2 percent field goal percentage currently leads the ACC.

Saturday Storylines

– NC State has a 39-2 record against non-conference opponents in regular season home games under head coach Kevin Keatts.

– Keep up the offensive flow: It’s still not even two weeks into the season, but the Pack has put itself at the top of two key offensive categories: scoring and field goal percentage. NC State leads the ACC in scoring at 93.0 points per game (17th in NCAA DI) and also leads the conference in field goal percentage at 54.2% (10th in NCAA DI)

– Get Out and Run: NC State is averaging 28.0 fastbreak points per game this season. That stat is the second-best in NCAA DI this season. NC State is outscoring its opponents 83-27 in fast break points through the first three games.

– Sharing the ball: NC State enters Saturday’s game ranking second in the ACC in assists per game with an average of 18.3 per contest. The Pack has already had two games this season with over 20 assists, last season in 32 games, NC State only had one game where it had over 20 assists. Terquavion Smith (2nd; 5.7) and Jarkel Joiner (4th; 5.3) both rank in the top-five in the ACC in assists per game. Overall,  the Pack has assisted on 53.4 percent of its field goals this season after only having assists on 43% of its field goals last season.

– The Pack has posted double-digit steals in each of the first three games of the season, including 17 in its last game against FIU. NC State only had five double-digit steal games all of last season and didn’t have any in the final 13 games of the season. The Pack’s 39 steals are the most in the ACC and nine more than second place, Boston College. The Pack’s 13.0 steals per game ranks sixth in all of NCAA DI teams. Overall, the Pack has four players that rank in the top-15 in the ACC in steals, including Terquavion Smith who leads the ACC in steals at 3.3 per game. Jack Clark is tied for 2nd at 2.7 per game while Casey Morsell ranks 10th at 2.0 per game and Jarkel Joiner is tied for 14th at 1.7 per game.

Noting Elon

– Elon opened the season on Nov. 7 with an 80-55 win over Erskine, but has dropped three straight games heading into Saturday’s matchup with NC State. The Phoenix lost two games in a tournament in Asheville to ETSU and Harvard and then fell to North Dakota at home on Thursday night.

– Elon welcomes back seven letterwinners from last year’s team including five upperclassmen.

– Graduate transfer Sean Halloran leads the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game. Torrence Watson (11.5 ppg.) and Zac Ervin (10.5 ppg.) also average in double figures for Elon.

– The Phoenix were picked 12th in the preseason Colonial Athletic Association poll.

NC State – Elon Series

– NC State leads the all-time series with Elon, 22-8, but the two programs have only met four times since 1953 (when the Pack joined the ACC) and NC State has won all four of those contests.

– The two programs last met on Nov. 25, 2011 at Reynolds Coliseum. NC State jumped out to a 20-2 lead and never looked back in defeating the Phoenix, 82-67. Sophomore Lorenzo Brown scored a then career-high 21 points in the win for the Pack.

– The last time the teams met in PNC Arena, the Pack squeaked past Elon, 79-76, on Dec. 17, 2009.

– NC State has a 66-15 record all-time against current members of Colonial Athletic Association.

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