NC State lights up scoreboard against South Carolina State

Pack sets PNC record with 31 assists

NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts calls a play during a game earlier this season. (Eamon Queeney / North State Journal)

NC State set the PNC Arena record for assists in a game in its 103-71 win over South Carolina State. The Pack dished out 31 assists and posted its third-highest points output in the 18-year history of the building.

“I thought our guys played a very good ballgame,” coach Kevin Keatts said. “We did a lot of good things, especially on the offensive end. We had 41 made field goals and assisted on 31 of them. I think we got great contributions from everybody who came into the game.”

After fighting back from an early 11-0 deficit against Penn State in their previous game, the Wolfpack came out on fire against South Carolina State. The Pack scored the first 14 points and led 22-5 at one point.

“It took a lot of yelling,” Keatts joked about the improved start. “We’ve had three games here that I didn’t think we started well. As coach, I kind of focus on it. I wanted us to get out in transition and get easy baskets.”

Lennard Freeman and Omer Yurtseven took advantage of a smaller South Carolina team inside. Freeman had 19 points and five rebounds, while Yurtseven added 17 and eight.

“He’s getting better,” Keatts said of Yurtseven. “Omer is a student of the game. He’s starting to listen more and understand how to score and stay on the floor. … Our post guys have gotten better every game. I told the team Omer and Lennard had 22 points at halftime, so we should keep getting them the ball.”

Torin Dorn added a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“I challenged him,” Keatts said. “When you’re playing small basketball, with a guy like him at power forward, for him to be able to rebound like that (is big). I’m happy for him.”

The Wolfpack heads into a lighter portion of the schedule while the school has final exams. State has just two games through Dec. 16.

“I think we’re getting there,” Keatts said. “As a coach, you’re never satisfied. I still think we’re a long way away.”