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January 9, 2012

Quick hits from NCSU's win over Maryland

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 79-74 win over Maryland in front of 18,057 fans who watched the conference opener for both teams at the RBC Center Sunday night.

Play of the game

Maryland twice cut the lead to three points about midway through the second half. The second time came when sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin made a runner with 8:08 left in the game, slicing State's lead to 56-53.

The previous time Maryland had the lead down to three, Terrapin freshman center Alex Len missed a layup, and Wolfpack junior center DeShawn Painter raced down the court for a fast break dunk off a feed from sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown.

This time, after Stoglin's made basket, Brown again pushed the action, and he again found Painter beating Len down the court. Painter made the fast break layup, and this time he was fouled by Len. The three-point play gave State a 59-53 lead with 8:01 left and started an 11-0 run over the next three minutes that pushed the game out of reach.

Highlight of the game

As expected with any competitive ACC game, there were a few memorable plays worthy of the highlight reel. One that stood out early in the game however was when sophomore forward C.J. Leslie too a long pass from Brown on a fast break and then went up for a one-handed dunk over the 7-footer Len. The basket gave State an 8-6 lead with 15:21 left in the first half, and probably put Len on the wrong side of a few memorable photos.

Player of the game

After the game, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said, "I thought we were scared of the kid to be quite honest with you."

"The kid" he was referring to was Leslie, who finished with a team-high 21 rebounds and co-game high 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. He matched his career high in points set last year versus Tennessee Tech. His previous season-high this year was 20 against Vanderbilt Nov. 19, his first game of the season.

Leslie also had a new career-high for rebounds in a conference game, topping the previous mark of 10 against Clemson last year. He recorded the second double-double of the season and fifth of his career.

Kudos to others

It was hard not picking Brown for player of the game because of his all around play. Brown finished with 11 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and just one turnover in 31 minutes. The nine assists were a new best for a conference game, topping the eight he had twice last year. This was the seventh game this year Brown had eight or more assists. He has 109 assists in 16 games this year, almost equaling his total of 116 in 31 games last season.

Junior wing Scott Wood is officially on record-watch after going 6 for 6 at the line. He had made 47 straight at the line, tying the school record set by former guard Rodney Monroe. He is seven shy of matching former Duke guard J.J. Redick's conference record.

Wood finished the game with 19 points, giving him four straight games in double figures and five of the last six. The trio of Leslie, Brown and Wood ensured that the Pack had three players in double figures for the 15th time in 16 games this year. St. Bonaventure Dec. 20 was the lone time it did not happen.

Stoglin solidified his reputation as a scorer, going for 25 points and getting at least 20 in a game for the 10th time this year. He is the only player in the ACC averaging over 20 points a game. This is the second time Stoglin went for 25 against the Pack, doing so last year as well.

Stoglin made 8 of 16 shots, including 6 of 12 three-pointers. That tied a career-high for three-pointers made in a contest for Stoglin. He had previously done that twice before.

Len, playing in just his fourth collegiate game, notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He also had a pair of blocked shots. Len has scored in double figured in all four of his games.

Big difference at the line

Maryland stayed in the game by making 9 of 21 three-pointers, two off a season-high in three-pointers made in a game. That compared to State making just 2 of 9. The season low for the Pack was 1 of 8 versus Princeton Nov. 16 when Wood went down early in the contest with an ankle injury.

However, State had a huge advantage on the free throw line. The Pack made 21 of 24 attempts for 87.5 percent. This was the sixth time in the last eight games State has made more than 80 percent of its free throws. Twice during that stretch they made over 90 percent. State entered Sunday leading the conference in free throw shooting at 75.2 percent, and that number rose to 76.0 percent after Sunday. Virginia Tech is the next closest team in the league at 74.3 percent.

Maryland was the second-worst free throw shooting team in the league before the game at 64.9 percent. After going 13 of 21 at the line Sunday, the fell to 64.7 percent, just 0.1 percent ahead of UNC who has the lowest accuracy rate in the ACC.

Spotted at the game

Former NC State player and former NBA veteran Chucky Brown was spotted behind the Wolfpack's bench Sunday night. Also in attendance were a number of military personnel, former and active, as part of military appreciation night. The game started with four members of the Green Beret repelling down from the rafters to deliver the game ball.

What the win means

This is a particularly sweet win for the Pack as it snapped what had been a nine-game losing streak to the Terps. The last time State had defeated Maryland was a 62-58 win at home Feb. 5, 2006. Former head coach Sidney Lowe never had a win over Maryland.

Because of that extending winning streak the Terps enjoyed over State, they continue to lead a tightly contested series 76-73.

NC State is now 33-26 all-time in conference openers and 19-8 in home league openers. Mark Gottfried became just the second Wolfpack head coach to win his ACC opener. Les Robinson defeated Clemson 74-70 in 1991.

The Terps had their seven-game winning streak snapped while State extended their winning streak to six, the longest such stretch of victories for the Pack since the 2007-08 team won seven in a row.

State is 12-4 on the season and won of six conference teams to start league play with a win, joining Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest. Maryland falls to 10-4.

Other stats of note

- NC State outrebounded Maryland 36-34 overall, but the Terps had a 13-11 edge on the offensive glass. Despite that, the Pack had a slight 18-16 advantage in second-chance points.
- The Pack dominated in the paint, 38-28.
- NC State had a rare win in the turnover margin, just the sixth time this year. Maryland had 13 turnovers to State's 11, and the Pack had a 20-11 edge in points off turnovers.
- The Pack was much more efficient on the fast break to the tune of a 16-5 edge in transition points.
- Maryland's bench outscored State's reserves 13-12.


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