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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fells shines in opening
exhibition against Fort Valley State

Twenty-one points, a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, three assists, zero turnovers and two steals.

Not a bad day at the office.

Courtney Fells kick started his final campaign as a Wolfpacker in grand style, filling the stat sheet in a 94-65 win in the Pack's opening exhibition game of the 2008-09 season against Fort Valley St. in front of close to 4,000 Pack fans in Reynolds.


Ben McCauley started his senior season off strong, as well, adding another 12 points and four nifty assists in the low post.

Speaking of sharing the ball, there was plenty of that going on. State players notched 26 assists, including eight from point guard Javier Gonzalez. He added another two steals in just 22 minutes of action.

Coach Sidney Lowe got a lot of folks into the action, often swapping four and five players at a time to keep players fresh and the defensive intensity up. No fewer than 10 Wolfpack players saw double-digit minutes out on the court.

It wasn't all sunshine and moonbeams for State, though.

The smaller Wildcats of Fort Valley State out-rebounded the Pack 39-35, and 14 of those boards came on the offensive end. Coach Lowe has stressed rebounding coming into this season, so it's somewhat disheartening to see the poor rebounding numbers from last year carry over into this game. No doubt improving in that area will be what Lowe continues to preach moving forward into the weekend's practices and into Tuesday night's game.

A somewhat scary moment in the game came in the first half when Johnny Thomas, playing for the first time since tearing his knee up a year ago, went down with an ankle injury. He would not return, but early indications are that it's just a minor sprain.

All-in-all a solid performance tonight from the squad that should provide plenty of film to teach from as the regular season looms ahead.

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