Freshman guard Ryan Harrow played more minutes and was more productive than senior guard Javier Gonzalez for N.C. State in a 75-66 loss at Boston College on Tuesday night.
The freshman found himself on the bench for a key sequence in the second half, though, because of a defensive lapse, Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe said.
Down a 60-57 after a Tracy Smith beat Josh Southern in the post at 4:20, Boston College ran a high ball screen for senior guard Biko Paris. Harrow got lost on the screen and Paris drained an open 3 at 4:03 to tie the game at 60.
Harrow had scored nine of his 11 points in a 4-minute span to ignite State's offense after it fell behind 50-42.
"It wasn't what he did on offense," Lowe said, specifically citing the Paris 3-pointer for the substitution.
Lowe subbed Gonzalez, who finished with no points in 19 minutes, for Harrow at the 3:41 mark. On State's next offensive possession after Paris' 3, Lowe called a timeout and had 18 seconds on the shot clock.
Lowe called two successful plays out of an inbounds set for Scott Wood earlier in the second half, but this set ended with Gonzalez taking a wild 3-pointer from about 35-feet in a futile effort to beat the shot clock.
BC got two more 3s, one from Corey Raji who lost freshman C.J. Leslie on a similar set, and then a second from Paris, this time at Gonzalez's expense. Lowe was flummoxed by the defensive lapses.
"We somehow didn't communicate," Lowe said. "We didn't talk it through."
Lowe did bring Harrow back in at 2:13 with State down 66-60. After a timeout, the Pack got the ball into Smith but he turned it over and Reggie Jackson capped off a 12-0 run by hitting 3-of-4 free throws on consecutive trips.
State finally ended the drought when Leslie hit a 3 with 1:13 left but it was too late.
Harrow finished with 11 points, two assists and no turnovers in 21 minutes. Gonzalez, who defended Jackson (29 points) in the first half, finished with no points, two assists and no turnovers in 19 minutes.
Lowe has tried to protect the sleight Harrow on defense and likes the concept of bringing him off the bench. Clearly, until Harrow's defense catches up with his offense, Lowe is intent managing Harrow's minutes like he did against BC.