After losing a non-conference home game for the first time in more than two years last time out, North Carolina State looks to start a new streak when it hosts Robert Morris on Tuesday. It’s the next-to-last non-conference clash for the Wolfpack before beginning the gauntlet of ACC play.
The Wolfpack had their 20-game winning streak in non-conference home games snapped with an 81-76 loss to UNC Greensboro on Saturday. The Colonials have won six of their last eight, but they’re coming off an 86-70 loss at Buffalo on Saturday. N.C. State is 10-1 all-time against current Northeast Conference teams, including a 90-88 win over the Colonials in their only previous meeting in 1991. The Wolfpack also defeated NEC foe Bryant 95-72 on Nov. 14.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS (6-5): The Colonials aren’t an exciting offensive team, but they force 19.4 turnovers per game, which is tied for ninth in the nation. Guard Dachon Burke (17.4 points, 6.2 rebounds), who has been named Northeast Conference Player of the Week three times this season, is the go-to guy and has scored in double figures in all 10 games he has played. Freshman forward Koby Thomas (14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds) is the only other double-digit scorer on a team that lacks size inside.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (8-3): The Wolfpack like to use their pressure defense to fuel their offense, and they rank 39th in the nation in scoring (83.7 points). Guard Allerik Freeman (15.3 points), swingman Torin Dorn (13.5, 7.3 rebounds), and power forward Lennard Freeman (12.6, 5.3) lead the way, but freshman Braxton Beverly (9.6 points, 3.8 assists) is growing into the point guard role. N.C. State’s bench averages 24.9 points and is led by 7-footer Omer Yurtseven (11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds), who is 25-for-30 from the field over his last five games.
1. Beverly has recorded 27 assists and four turnovers in his last four games.
2. N.C. State has forced at least 20 turnovers four times this season, its most since 2009-10.
3. Robert Morris has forced more turnovers than it has committed in 10 of its 11 contests.
PREDICTION: North Carolina State 81, Robert Morris 68