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March 1, 2013

Quick hits from NC State's win over Boston College



Quick hits and notes from NC State's 82-64 victory over Boston College Wednesday evening in front of 15,807 fans at the PNC Arena.

Play of the game

NC State started strong, taking a 22-6 lead before Boston College trimmed the lead to 30-27. The Pack at that point held for the final shot of the first half. The play seemed broken when senior wing Scott Wood was forced to take a contested three-pointer that would be blocked by Boston College sophomore forward Eddie Odio.

Wood though stuck with the play, gathered the loose ball, leaned around Odio and fired up a three-pointer that beat both the shot clock and first half buzzers, connecting to give NCSU a 33-27 lead at the half. State never looked back after that point, as the closest Boston College would get to NCSU was five points at 39-34.

Highlight of the game

NC State was off and running early in this game. One play that stood out was when junior forward C.J. Leslie blocked Boston College freshman guard Olivier Hanlan's drive to the basket. Wolfpack junior guard Lorenzo Brown corralled the loose ball and seemingly in one motion swung the ball up the court for freshman guard Rodney Purvis to run down. Purvis finished off the fast break with his patented authoritative right-handed dunk.

Player of the game

To put Purvis' 21-point performance off the bench in some perspective, besides the fact that it was a career-high for Purvis and the first time he had scored at least 20 points in a game, Purvis had been in single-digits scoring in seven of the last eight games, scoring just two points or less three times.

In Purvis' last five games, he was averaging 3.2 points a contest. On Wednesday, Purvis made 8 of 11 shots, including 1 of 3 three-pointers, and also connected on 4 of 6 free throws. That matched the second most made free throws in a game for Purvis. He made four but it took eight attempts against Georgia Tech Jan.9. Purvis' best ever night at the line is a 5 for 6 effort against Cleveland State Dec. 8.

By going 4 of 6 from the charity stripe against BC, Purvis improved to 37 of 73 on the year and back above 50.0 percent.

Ironically Purvis' previous career-high had come against Boston College when he scored 19 against the Eagles Jan. 5 in Chestnut Hill.

Wood almost co-MVP

Wood continues his torrid shooting run. Over the past nine games, Wood has made 34 of 61 three-pointers, or 55.7 percent. He went 5 of 10 from long range against Boston College and finished with 17 overall points. He has now made 312 three-pointers in his career, one away from matching former Duke guard Jay Williams for eighth all-time in ACC history and 10 off Rodney Monroe's school record.

Wood has at least four games left to tie or break Monroe's record. He simply needs to average 2.5 made threes a game during that span to reach that mark.

Defensively, Wood had three steals against the Eagles, a season-high and matching his ACC-best, ironically also set against Boston College but last season in Chestnut Hill.

Sharp performance

Aside from about an eight-minute stretch to end the first half, NC State had little trouble controlling the action against Boston College. The Pack shot 33 of 59 from the field for 55.9 percent, its best shooting performance in an ACC game this year and top accuracy mark since they made 57.1 percent against St. Bonaventure Dec. 22. This was the 17th time this season NCSU shot at least 50.0 percent from the field.

Conversely, Boston College made just 21 of 54 shots for 38.9 percent, the third lowest field goal percentage allowed by a Pack defense in conference action this year.

On the boards, NC State had a commanding 39-25 advantage, including an impressive 14-11 margin on the offensive glass despite shooting significantly better than Boston College during the game. The Wolfpack also had an 18-10 edge in second chance points.

Since Mark Gottfried inserted freshman forward T.J. Warren into the starting lineup, the Pack has outrebounded its three opponents by an average margin of 17.7 boards.

The final result was NC State's second straight 18-point home win. After recording just one conference win by double-digits in the first seven ACC victories (a 13-point home triumph over Georgia Tech Jan. 9), the Pack now has two in a row.

Leslie moves up

The Pack was much more active defensively against Boston College than in recent games, which is why the box score showing eight blocked shots and six steals seemed low in both categories.

Leading the block party was Leslie, who swatted away three to get to 123 for his career. That moved him past Cozell McQueen into fifth place all-time in program history.

What the win means

NC State improved to 20-8 overall and 9-6 in the ACC while Boston College fell to 12-16 and 4-11 in the league. The Pack has won all five games against the Eagles since Gottfried arrived at NC State. That's the longest active winning streak for the Pack against an ACC opponent.

The five straight wins and seven in the last eight has allowed NC State to even its all-time series with the Eagles at 8-8. The Pack is 4-3 against BC at the PNC Arena.

The Pack has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. That was the end of five straight years with at least 20 wins for the Pack. This is the first time State has had back-to-back 20-wins in the regular season since the 1987-88 and 1988-89 campaigns.

NC State improved to 15-1 at home this season, its one loss coming at the buzzer to Miami. The 15 wins are the most at the PNC Arena since the 2005-06 season.

Other stats of note

- NC State outscored BC in the paint 46-22.

- Boston College won the turnover margin 13-10, but NCSU still had a 13-8 edge in points off turnovers.

- NC State dominated in transition, outscoring the Eagles 25-4 in fast break points.

- Boston College's bench slightly outscored NC State's reserves 26-25.



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