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February 21, 2011

Quick hits from NCSU's loss to Maryland

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 87-80 loss at Maryland in front of 17,950 fans at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md., Sunday evening.

Play of the game

The game was tied 71-71 with less than six minutes left when Maryland junior guard Sean Mosley ignited a 12-1 Terrapin run over a five-minute span to put the contest away. Mosley took the ball at the top of the key, used a crossover dribble on NC State freshman forward C.J. Leslie to get an open path through the lane and then hit a scoop shot between a recovering Leslie and Wolfpack senior forward Tracy Smith to give Maryland a 73-71 lead with 5:18 left. Maryland never trailed again.

Highlight of the game

This would have been a nice game to cut up for Sportscenter. Maryland sophomore center Jordan Williams had a couple of memorable dunks, one a thunderous finish on a fast break and the other that was actually momentarily stuffed by the rim. Terrapin freshman guard Terrell Stoglin also had a highlight-worthy up and under scoop shot along the baseline.

We're going though with Leslie's emphatic one-handed, put-back slam dunk over a few Maryland defenders and even a Wolfpack player or two off a missed shot by Smith with 7:48 left in the first half.

Player of the game

Several Maryland players had outstanding games, but the honor goes to Stoglin. He matched his career high with 25 points and also set a new personal-best with nine assists while turning the ball over just once in 34 minutes. Stoglin dominated the point guard match-ups all game.

This was Stoglin's second-consecutive 25-point outing. He torched the Hokies for 25 and six assists Feb. 15.

Big games for Maryland inside players

Williams and senior forward Dino Gregory both had monster evenings in addition to Stoglin. Williams had a game-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds. He made 10 of 12 shots from the field and 6 of 7 free throws in a very efficient performance. Williams was just one point off his career high of 27 set twice this year. He was also two rebounds short of what would have been his 21st double-double of the season.

Gregory set a new career-high with 18 points and added 10 rebounds. That was just Gregory's third career double-double, and he came one board shy of matching his career-high in rebounding.

Those two performances though were partially offset by their counterparts from NC State. Smith led the Pack with 19 points, although he shot just 7 of 15 from the field, and Leslie added 18 points and eight boards, making 7 of 13 shots.

Offensive explosion

The last time the Wolfpack scored at least 80 points in a game and lost was Feb. 8, 2009 when Virginia Tech topped the Pack 91-87 in Blacksburg, Va.

Maryland had its second-highest scoring output of the season in conference play behind a 91-point effort against Wake Forest. The Terps did it despite shooting, and missing, just one three-point shot attempt. This was the second time this year Maryland failed to make a three-pointer in game.

This was also the second time this season State held an opponent without a three-point basket. Alabama A&M went 0-15 Dec. 28 in the RBC Center. The last time the Pack held an ACC team without a three was Feb. 20, 2010 when Wake Forest went 0-12 from long range in the RBC Center. Before that, the last opponent to not make a three against State was Jan. 27, 1990, ironically also Maryland.

Maryland shot 32 of 55 from the field overall for 58.2 percent, topping Florida State's 54.5 percent for the highest field goal percentage allowed by the Wolfpack's defense this season.

NC State shot well themselves, making 31 of 63 shots for 49.2 percent. That actually ranks as the ninth best shooting effort of the year for the Wolfpack and highest in a non-Wake Forest ACC contest. It is also the best State has shot in a loss, topping the Pack's 45.1-percent effort at Syracuse Dec. 4.

NC State's shooting percentage would have been much higher if it was not for the decisive stretch in the game when the Pack went cold. With the score tied 69-69 with eight minutes left, senior guard Javier Gonzalez airballed a short runner in the lane. Over the next seven minutes the Wolfpack went just 1 of 12 before making their final three shot attempts in the final minute. In the first 32 minutes of the game the Pack had shot 56.3 percent.

Big night at Maryland

The Wolfpack had the unfortunate luxury of playing Maryland on a special night for the Terrapins. Maryland retired former ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez's No. 21 jersey, and at halftime the school honored the 2001 Final Four team, which was the first in Maryland history. Among the former players that were there included Jimmy Patsos, now a Maryland assistant, Calvin McCall, Mike Mardisich, Tahj Holden, Byron Mouton and Chris Wilcox.

What the loss means

NC State falls to 14-12 overall and 4-8 in the ACC. The loss snapped the Pack's two-game conference winning streak. The last time the Wolfpack had a three-game regular season ACC winning streak was in 2006 when the Pack won four in a row in Herb Sendek's last season in Raleigh.

Maryland improved to 17-10 overall and 6-6 in the ACC. The Terps have now won eight straight against NC State and is 33-8 against the Pack over the last 19 seasons. That has given the Terps a 75-72 edge in the series with NCSU. Maryland also remains the only team in the conference that fifth-year NC State head coach Sidney Lowe has not defeated. Maryland improves to 38-21 against State in games played at College Park.

NC State falls into a three-way tie for eight-place in the ACC with Miami and Virginia. The Pack defeated Miami head-to-head but have not played Virginia yet. The two teams will meet in Charlottesville March 1. Miami defeated Virginia in their lone match-up. If the ACC Tournament was held today, NC State would be the eight seed and play Miami, the nine seed. The winner of the game would get the top seed, currently Duke, in the second round.

Maryland is in a tie with Boston College for sixth in the ACC. Boston College owns the tiebreaker with Maryland virtue of the Eagles' season sweep over the Terps, meaning Maryland would be the seventh seed if the tournament was held today, and they would face Virginia in the first round.

NC State hosts UNC Wednesday night while Maryland hosts Florida State that same evening.

Other stats of note:

- Maryland outrebounded NC State 31-25, but State had a 11-9 edge on the offensive glass, partially attributed to the fact Maryland shot so well. NC State had a 15-8 edge in second-chance points.
- Both teams scored 40 points in the paint.
- NC State had a rare win in the turnover margin, 12-11. The Pack also outscored Maryland 19-16 in points off turnovers.
- The Pack's bench outscored Maryland's 16-10.
- The Terps had a 14-4 advantage in fast break points.


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