Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

N.C. State (finally) holds that Tiger for 66-62 win over Clemson

Posted by Google on Sun, Jan 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM

C.J. Leslie sizes up Clemsons Milton Jennings during the Wolfpacks 66-62 win over the Tigers
  • Chris Baird
  • C.J. Leslie sizes up Clemson's Milton Jennings during the Wolfpack's 66-62 win over the Tigers
PNC ARENA/RALEIGH—The knock all season on No. 14 N.C. State has been their inability/unwillingness to play as well to start games and they do to finish them. The Wolfpack sought to change that Sunday evening against Clemson, breaking out their black kits for the first time this season and jumping out to an 8-point lead over the opening five minutes, a margin they would hold into halftime. N.C. State, the third-best shooting team in the nation, converted 53.8 percent of their field goals during the opening stanza, led by T.J. Warren’s 14 bench points.

However, the Wolfpack was held to only 33 percent shooting in the second half, and the score was tied with 3:30 left in the game and again with 2 minutes remaining. A 3-point play by Richard Howell and five late free throws by Scott Wood enabled N.C. State (15-3, 4-1 ACC) to hold on for a 66-62 win over the Tigers (10-7, 2-3 ACC).

Warren finished with a team-high 21 points off 9-11 shooting. Richard Howell had 11 points and 12 rebounds, earning his 10th double-double this season. However, Howell only shot 4-12 and was dominated inside by Clemson’s Devin Booker, who led all scorers with a career-high 27 points.

Indeed, two straight dunks by Booker cut the Wolfpack lead to two with 8:40 remaining. That’s when N.C. State Head Coach Mark Gottfried shifted to a zone defense to try to hold that Tiger. While the change opened opportunities for guard Rod Hall, who scored eight of his 16 points in the final 5:30, Booker had no points after the shift and attempted his last shot with 6:44 remaining.

Booker said coming into the game he expected more zone from N.C. State. Instead, the Clemson senior took advantage until the Wolfpack began to snuff out his opportunities.

“[My effort] just wasn’t good enough,” Booker said. “I did alright, but we didn’t get the win. So I can’t feel too good.”

Gottfried also credited switching to the quicker C.J. Leslie to guard Booker late in the second half. Indeed, although Booker scored nine points after halftime, he only managed six shots.

“Booker’s just a load,” Gottfried said. “He’s big and strong. He’s a tough matchup in there for us. We wanted to double down a couple times [but] we were late getting there … In the second half, I thought Calvin [Leslie] used his quickness to keep it out of there. [Booker] didn’t get it as much in the second half.”

T.J. Warren rises for two of his 21 points against Clemson
  • Chris Baird
  • T.J. Warren rises for two of his 21 points against Clemson
It was an off-night for Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, the Wolfpack’s two leading scorers. Each finished with only six points apiece, with Leslie gathering a paltry three rebounds against a Clemson team that missed 38 shots.

The difference between winning and losing for N.C. State came down to three key statistics. First was Warren’s performance coming off his scoreless output during last Wednesday’s loss at Maryland. The Wolfpack outscored Clemson 14-5 from the free throw line thanks to 16 more attempts from the charity stripe. Finally, N.C. State committed zero turnovers in the second half after coughing up nine before halftime.

The Wolfpack has run the gamut over the past eight days, from a heralded victory over then-undefeated Duke to a disappointing one-point defeat at Maryland to a grind-out win back at PNC Arena. The result over Clemson wasn't a pretty performance for either team. But for Gottfried, who was celebrating his 49th birthday today, a win’s a win.

“Part of being in a league like this is that you’ve got to grind some out,” Gottfried said. “It’s not always going to be glamorous. You’ve just got to find a way to keep winning.”

N.C. State has a quick turnaround as it travels to Wake Forest this Tuesday to take on the Demon Deacons. The Wolfpack returns home next Saturday, January 26 for a big game against the North Carolina Tar Heels (and a visit from ESPN College GameDay).

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pin It
"Part of being in a league like this is that you've got to grind some out," said N.C. State head coach (and birthday boy) Mark Gottfried. "It's not always going to be glamorous. You've just got to find a way to keep winning."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports

More by Neil Morris

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity

Comments

Doesn't the same ownership group own both the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo? Seems like a double standard.

by Rob Swenson on Deadline in US Soccer Pro League Standards emerges as motive for sale of NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Sports)

Most Read

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation