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    Men's BB Kicks Off Season with Red & White Action
     
     

    BY TIM PEELER

     

    RALEIGH, N.C. Senior Ben McCauley scored 17 points and teammate Courtney Fells added 12, leading the Red to a 47-44 victory over the White Saturday night at historic Reynolds Coliseum in the first public scrimmage of the season for the 2008-09 NC State men’s basketball team.

     

    McCauley made six of his 14 shots on the night and had seven rebounds. Fells made five of his 11 shots and also grabbed seven boards in front of approximately 3,500 spectators.

     

    “I think a lot of things went well for us tonight,” McCauley said afterwards. “Running up and down the floor is something coach has really harped on us throughout the preseason. We want to push the ball and get some transition baskets.”

     

    Freshman Julius Mays made a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds to seal the win for the Red squad, shortly after junior Trevor Ferguson of the White team made a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game. The White team led 21-14 at the half, in a contest that consisted of two 16-minute halves. The clock ran continuously for the first eight minutes of each half.

     

    Sophomore Tracy Smith led the White team with 13 points, while sophomore Javi Gonzalez had seven points and three assists and junior Dennis Horner had seven points.

     

    Junior Brandon Costner, hobbled by a twisted ankle he suffered in practice about a week ago, was in street clothes for the contest and did not participate. He is expected to return when the Wolfpack plays its first exhibition game of the season, a 7 p.m. contest against Fort Valley State on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Reynolds Coliseum.

     

    Costner’s absence left only six healthy players for the Red team, while the White team had seven players. However, Horner was also hampered by a sprained ankle he suffered in practice.

     

    The Red’s lineup was further diminished late in the second half when junior point guard Farnold Degand, who missed all but 10 games last season following a knee injury and reconstructive surgery, left the game for precautionary reasons after tweaking his repaired left knee.

     

    “There are some battle scars out there and that just goes to show you that everyone is out there playing hard and busting their butts,” McCauley said.

     

    NC State head coach Sidney Lowe’s promise to have a more aggressive team was apparent after the first missed shot of the game, when Degand chased down a rebound and threw a long pass down the court to McCauley for an easy layup. Much of the rest of the game was also spent in transition for both teams.

     

    “I liked that both teams really executed the offense,” Lowe said afterwards. “I thought the White group ran better than the Red group. I like we were aggressive on the offensive boards. We still need to be able to execute in the half court set.”

     

    Ferguson, who scored nine points for the White, made either team’s first basket from the NCAA’s newly extended 3-point line, which is about one-foot further away from the basket than in previous years. Ferguson made all three of his attempts behind the new line.

     

    The night’s most impressive play may have been by senior Courtney Fells, who broke free from Ferguson to score on one end of the floor, then raced back to the other end to deflect a pass to Ferguson. Fells’ momentum carried him out of bounds and he leaped over a table located beyond the end line, avoiding injury on the play.

     

    It was the NC State debut for five freshmen on the 14-player roster: redshirt freshman swing player Johnny Thomas, from Morehead City, N.C.; scholarship freshmen Mays from Marion, Ind., and C.J. Williams from Fayetteville, N.C., and walk-ons Spencer Greenway, a 6-4 guard from Raleigh’s Cardinal Gibbons High School, and Kendall Smith, a 6-8 forward from Winston-Salem’s Glenn High School.

     

    You may contact Tim Peeler at tim_peeler@ncsu.edu.



     

     

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