CINCINNATI — N.C. State and Cincinnati committed 23 fouls each Tuesday night, but its anyones guess how many they might have committed under the old officiating rules.
College basketball is being officiated tighter than it has been in years, with an emphasis on reducing physicality and making the game more free-flowing.
So the sound of whistles like all those during Cincinnatis 68-57 victory against the Wolfpack might become common, especially early in the season. N.C. State averaged 16 personal fouls per game last season, and Cincinnati 17. Both teams committed more than 23 fouls just once last season.
Foul trouble hurt the Bearcats early and the Wolfpack late. N.C. State guard Ralston Turner left the game midway through the second half after picking up his fourth foul. Cincinnati, meanwhile, had five players with three fouls.
The tricky thing with that sometimes is its hard for an official to stay consistent the whole game, Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. Because a bump foul here is not a foul. And then a bump foul later is a foul. And so that makes it tricky. It makes it really hard and we ended up in some foul trouble tonight, so weve just got to learn. Youve got to learn how to defend better.
Wolfpack avoids turnovers: N.C. State didnt always get the kinds of shots it wanted and it didnt always execute its offense against Cincinnatis pressing defense. The one positive for the Wolfpack, though, is it avoided turnovers.
N.C. State committed eight turnovers and outscored the Bearcats 15-6 in points off of turnovers.
Really satisfied with that aspect, Wolfpack point guard Tyler Lewis said. Just because theyre a team that just gets up there and pressures you the whole game, and just knowing that we only had eight turnovers, we took care of the ball really well.
While the Wolfpack avoided turnovers, Cincinnatis defensive pressure caused N.C. State to speed up its possessions, Lewis said.
Even when they dont press you, it would still feel like theyre pressing you just because they always have another guy running at you, Lewis said. Even though sometimes they dont get that many turnovers, they just speed your offense up and then make you take bad shots sometimes.
Notes: N.C. State hasnt won its first road game of the season since 2009. Poor free-throw shooting hurt the Wolfpack, and in the second half especially. It was 3-for-9 from the line during the second half.
Carter: 919-829-8944; Twitter: @_andrewcarter