Wolfpack adds game at St. Louis to basketball schedule

NC State, which returned to practice this week after a temporary pause, has had four games either postponed or canceled this season because of COID-19 related issues

NC State's Jericole Hellems shoots as North Florida's Dorian James defends during the Wolfpack's 86-51 win earlier this season (Ethan Hyman / The News & Observer via AP)

The NC State men’s basketball team has added a non-conference game at Saint Louis to its schedule. The Wolfpack will play the Billikens on Thursday at Chaifetz Arena.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. with television designation not yet determined.

The newly added game will be the first since December 3 for coach Kevin Keatts’ team, which resumed activities earlier this week after a temporary pause in activities. State (3-0) has had four games either postponed or canceled because of COVID-19 related issues, including Wednesday’s scheduled ACC opener against Louisville.

Saint Louis (4-0) received 121 votes in the Associated Press poll to sit just outside of this week’s top 25. The Wolfpack will be the second Power-5 team the Billikens have hosted this season. On November 28, they defeated LSU, 85-81, to hand the Tigers their only loss this season.

The Billikens were picked second in the preseason Atlantic 10 poll. Saint Louis returns its top-five scorers and nine of its top-10 scorers overall from last season’s 23-8 team. The Billikens had non-conference road wins at Boston College and Kansas State last season.

Saint Louis has won 16 of its last 18 home games at Chaifetz Arena with one of those losses a 78-76 overtime decision to Dayton last season. The Flyers finished the year No. 3 in the AP poll with a 29-2 record.

Thursday’s game marks a homecoming for State junior forward Jericole Hellems. Hellems is a Saint Louis native and played for Missouri high school powerhouse Chaminade.

Hellems is third all-time in Chaminade history in career points with only NBA stars Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum in front of him.