RALEIGH, N.C. – Pfeiffer guard Jeff Pettiway slipped a second-half pass to 6-foot-6 classmate Chris Woods, who capped a brief run against N.C. State with a one-handed jam. “I got the pass from Jeff, and he calls it the Patrick Ewing dunk because he says it’s an old post player dunk, but I think it gave us some fire,” Woods said with a laugh. “I’m kind of old and can’t do too much, so I just did what I can.” Pettiway and Woods are seniors getting ready to enter their final collegiate season together, but Division II Pfeiffer’s 111-73 exhibition loss in front of 6,420 fans at Reynolds Coliseum signaled a fresh start for the Falcons.
It was the debut of new head coach Jeremy Currier, who took over for a departed Dave Davis in April.
N.C. State jumped out to a 24-5 lead, and Woods’ dunk cut Pfeiffer’s deficit to 18 points with 13:43 remaining in the game.
“It was the first time playing together against live competition, so I think it’s a game we have to take a lot of good from because the margin of error against a team like N.C. State is so small,” the 29-year-old Currier said. “I’m happy the guys competed for 40 minutes. We had a couple lapses, and N.C. State did what they should have. That’s capitalize.”
Woods scored a game-high 23 points on 9-for-24 shooting and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in 35 minutes. Pettiway posted 21 points, and Josh Humphrey added 14.
Six members of the Wolfpack reached double figures. Tracy Smith, Lorenzo Brown, Ryan Harrow and C.J. Leslie had 17 points apiece.
Brown, Harrow and Leslie are highly touted freshmen who were performing in front of N.C. State fans for the first time. Harrow and Leslie came off the bench.
“It was fun,” Harrow said. “We’ve been working hard to get to this day. For our first time out, with the freshmen and the guys that have been here, I think we jelled pretty well.”
Currier said Pfeiffer, which averaged 103.1 points a game last year, will continue to play at a fast pace. He wants his team to share the ball a little more, though, and take advantage of open looks that come from extra passes.
The Falcons didn’t press N.C. State because of its backcourt talent, and the only tie occurred in the first 35 seconds. Woods rebounded an airball and screamed after being fouled on a putback. He missed the free throw.
The Wolfpack rattled off the next nine points and took a 52-34 lead into halftime. Woods and Pettiway combined for 29 of their team’s 39 second-half points.
“If we were able to stick together getting beat by that much, we’re still a family,” Woods said. “If we stick together, I think the future is very bright.”
Pfeiffer will open the 2010-2011 season on Friday hosting Urbana at 7:00 p.m.