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Western Michigan (8-4) at (23) NC State (9-2)



Saturday December 29, 12 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,700) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: WMU 4-0, NC State 6-0. Away Record: WMU 2-4, NC State 0-1. Neutral Record: WMU 2-0, NC State 3-1. Conference Record: WMU 0-0, NC State 0-0. Series Record: First meeting. .

GAME NOTES: The Western Michigan Broncos look to pull off an upset as they visit PNC Arena for a non-conference tilt with the No. 23 NC State Wolfpack.

The Broncos completed an 87-66 rout of Mount St. Mary's last week to lift their record to 8-4 on the season. The victory improved WMU to 4-0 at home, but has managed just a 2-4 mark in away games so far. The Broncos have faced some tough competition on the road and even managed to down South Florida by five points in Tampa. However, the team did suffer back-to-back lopsided losses at Michigan (73-41) and Illinois State (85-63) to begin December. Coach Steve Hawkins aims to slow the pace down as his squad is averaging 67 points and 39 rebounds per game while its opponents are producing 63.5 points and 30.3 boards per contest.

Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack will be looking to extend their home winning streak to eight games after its 92-73 triumph over St. Bonaventure at PNC Arena last Saturday. The victory was also the fifth consecutive for NC State, which is now 9-2 overall. Its only setbacks came to Oklahoma State (76-56) and Michigan (79-72), but NC State has since earned wins over formidable opponents, including Connecticut (69-65), Cleveland State (80-63), and Stanford (88-79). The Wolfpack are an explosive bunch on offense as they are generating 80.5 ppg on a Division I best 53.4 percent shooting from the floor. The opposition has not been anywhere near as successful, as NC State is holding foes to 69.7 ppg with a .404 field goal percentage.

This will be the first meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. Both lost to Michigan, which is their only common opponent this season.

Junior center Shayne Whittington passed the 20-point mark for the second game in a row with a career-best 24 points to push the Broncos to their 21-point victory over Mount St. Mary's their last time out. WMU shot the lights out by going 32-of-53 from the floor with 21 assists, which set a season-high for the team. Freshman Darius Paul also notched a new-career best with 19 points and Brandon Pokley chipped in 15 points. Sophomore Austin Richie did a great job distributing as evident by his eight assists. Nate Hutcheson, who finished with five points, eight rebounds, and four assists versus the Mountaineers, still leads the team in the scoring column with 12.3 points per game. Paul (12 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Whittington (11.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg), and Pokley (10.3 ppg) are all owners of double-digit scoring averages as well.

NC State also received an offensive outburst in its last appearance as C.J. Leslie exploded for a career-high 33 points to guide his team to an easy 19- point decision over the Bonnies. The Wolfpack knocked down 57 percent of their field-goal attempts and outscored SBU, 22-13, at the free-throw line en route to the win. Scott Wood also made a big contribution with 23 points which was powered by a 5-of-7 performance from 3-point range. T.J. Warren came off the bench to net 13 points and seven rebounds and Lorenzo Brown dished out 11 assists, while running the show. Leslie is leading the five NC State players with double-digit scoring averages with 15 ppg and Richard Howell (13.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg) is a consistent double-double threat. Heralded freshman Rodney Purvis is only scoring 9.4 ppg 11 games into his career, but the rookie guard may need to step it up as the Wolfpack near conference play.

The Broncos have been much more efficient on the offensive end recently due to Whittington's recent inside scoring surge, but WMU's center will not find anything easy against Howell, Wood, and the athletic C.J. Leslie on Saturday. The Wolfpack are not going to be slowed down at all as long as Brown's precise passing and smart decision making continue to trigger their offense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 78, Western Michigan 63

12/29 10:31:22 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Half
UNCW 33
ECU 23
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
2nd
NOP 44
POR 62
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ATL
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
SAN
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
IND
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
MIL
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
3rd
AFA 23
WMICH 10
 
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 44
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
2nd
AUB 71
XAV 71
 
Half
AKR 48
BLUFFTON 27
 
Half
DAY 39
BU 32
 
Half
UNCW 33
ECU 23
 
Half
CLMB 34
HOF 38
 
Half
GMAS 45
IONA 38
 
2nd
TOWS 15
LAS 32
 
2nd
MAN 33
MRGST 33
 
2nd
CCST 42
YALE 51
 
2nd
PEPP 32
RICH 33
 
2nd
MAR 24
STJOE 40
 
Half
KYST 39
TEXAM 32
 
Half
MAST 42
VALPO 33
 
Half
UMKC 44
INCWORD 31
 
1st
IDST 27
CALST 26
 
1st
NIOWA 20
IOWA 18
 
1st
SIUE 12
UWMIL 12
 
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
LBSU
1st
TCU 0
TXSA 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARK
SEMIZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
JVST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARST
LEH
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
OKLA
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
STED
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
BST
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
MNTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
TAMCC
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
SDKST
 
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
STAN
11:30pm Tonight
UNLV
UTAH
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
2nd
CLB 1
CHI 0
 
2nd
BUF 0
COL 2
 
1st Intermission
PIT 2
FLA 1
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
1st Intermission
MON 1
OTT 1
 
1st Intermission
TOR 3
PHI 3
 
2nd
NYI 0
TAM 0
 
2nd
NJD 0
WAS 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NAS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
STL
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
 
8:25pm Tonight
SFX
SDC