Whatever scouting report Hofstra had for Monday’s game at N.C. State, it didn’t include Ralston Turner.
Turner carved up Hofstra’s zone and led N.C. State to a 76-64 win.
Turner, who finished with a career-high 24 points, made five 3-pointers and made the Pride pay for going zone.
Maybe Hofstra only looked at N.C. State’s last game. Turner scored seven points in the season-opening win against Jackson State and had one 3-pointer, but the senior led the Wolfpack with 77 3s last season.
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Turner scored eight points, including a pair of 3s, after Hofstra cut what was a 19-point N.C. State lead to 57-49 with 10 minutes, 47 seconds remaining.
“They made a run and he answered it,” N.C. coach Mark Gottfried said. “That’s what you need from veteran guys. He stepped up and responded as a fifth-year senior should. I like that about him. He wasn’t afraid to deliver when we needed him to.”
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried wanted more from his post players after getting most of the scoring production from the starting backcourt against Jackson State on Friday.
Sophomore forward Lennard Freeman helped with 13 rebounds and nine points but Turner provided the extra boost.
Not that guards Trevor Lacey (16 points) and Cat Barber (15) slacked off against the Pride, but it was Turner who was the go-to scorer against Hofstra’s 2-3 zone.
After a technical foul on Hofstra guard Malik Nichols, and then another 10 seconds later on coach Joe Mihalich, N.C. State’s lead ballooned to 51-32 with 17:28 remaining.
The Pride shot its way back to within single digits with a 10-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer Juan’ya Green at 12:47 to make it 55-46.
Desmond Lee made two free throws before Dion Nesmith’s 3 got the Pride within eight. After a basket by Lee, Turner drained 3s on consecutive trips, pushing N.C. State’s margin to 67-51 with 7:36 left.
“As a shooter, you have to have a short memory,” Turner said. “You’re not going to make them all. I try to be aggressive and take what they give me.”
Turner got plenty after the Pride went zone. He was actually was on the bench in the first half when the Pride first went to the zone at the 12:40 mark.
N.C. State scored only one field goal over the next four minutes before Gottfried put Turner back in.
As soon as Turner got on the floor, he made a baseline jumper.
“From that point on, it just kind of felt good after that,” Turner said.
Turner made three 3s during a 3-minute stretch to help N.C. State build a 45-29 halftime lead.
He hit two more 3s when N.C. State needed them most in the second half to start the season 2-0.
“You know, that’s what Ralston does,” Lacey said.
After Monday’s game, Hofstra knows that too.