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Stanford (7-3) at (25) NC State (7-2)



Tuesday, December 18, 9 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,700) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Stanford 5-1, NC State 4-0. Away Record: Stanford 0-0, NC State 0-1. Neutral Record: Stanford 2-2, NC State 3-1. Conference Record: Stanford 0-0, NC State 0-0. Series Record: Stanford leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The 25th-ranked NC State Wolfpack have a tough test on Tuesday when they welcome the Stanford Cardinal to PNC Arena for a non-conference tilt.

NC State returned to action after a week off on Saturday to down Norfolk State by 22 points at home. The Wolfpack's victory was their third in a row since dropping a seven-point decision to Michigan on the road. Coach Mark Gottfried's team, which is now 7-2, was ranked sixth in Division I to start the season before experiencing a 20-point setback to Oklahoma State in the Puerto Rico Tipoff. NC State is producing 78.4 ppg on 52.7 percent shooting from the floor while limiting opponents to a .397 field goal percentage and 68.3 ppg.

Gottfried's squad has a chance to make a statement in this one as Stanford is entering with some momentum after its 75-52 rout of UC Davis on Saturday. The victory was the Cardinal's third in a row which improved their record to 7-3. Coach Johnny Dawkins has led Stanford to a dismal 3-9 record against top-25 opponents during his tenure, including an eight-point loss to Missouri earlier this season in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Cardinal are outscoring their opposition by average margin of 8.7 points per contest.

In the only previous meeting, Stanford clipped NC State 76-72 last December at Maples Pavilion.

Although the Wolfpack were very impressive near the conclusion of their 2011-12 season, they may do even more damage in March this season due to the freshmen duo of forward T.J. Warren and guard Rodney Purvis. Warren netted 21 points off the bench his last time out while Purvis chipped in 10 points and four assists. Senior forward Richard Howell stood out as well with 12 points and 19 rebounds. Point guard Lorenzo Brown also filled up the stat sheet with 16 points, seven assists, and four steals. Warren is leading NC State in scoring with 14.6 points per outing and Howell is adding 14.1 ppg and is ranked fourth in the ACC with an average of 9.6 boards. C.J. Leslie (12.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is one of the most explosive players in the NCAA and can be an x- factor in big games.

Leslie will be needed as NC State will have to find a way to battle Stanford's forward duo of Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell on the interior. The 6-10, 235- pound Powell is leading the team with 14.8 ppg and Huestis is grabbing 8.2 rebounds per contest. The duo combined for 34 points and 16 rebounds in the Cardinal's win over UC Davis. Stanford held a 45-30 edge in the rebounding battle to overcome its poor 37.3 percent shooting from the field including its 7-of-29 mark from beyond the arc. The Cardinal have really relied on stingy defensive play this season, as there has been little to no consistency at the offensive end. The team is averaging a modest 69.9 ppg, while shooting a miserable .398 from the floor, a number severely hampered by a .260 effort from behind the arc. Point guard Chasson Randle is the only other double-digit scoring threat on the roster at 14.4 ppg, but he does so shooting a mere .358 from the floor.

Stanford will not get away with powering its way to the win in this one. NC State is going to force it to hit shots from the perimeter and battle much harder on the glass. The point guard battle between Randle and Brown will be important as it will likely give the Wolfpack an edge.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 78, Stanford 69

12/18 10:32:07 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
9th
CWS 2
CLE 3
 
8th
KAN 5
MIN 5
 
9th
HOU 4
TEX 2
 
3rd
ANA 3
OAK 0
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
 
4th
MISS 28
BSU 13
 
4th
TULSA 20
TULA 28
 
2nd
WASU 3
RUTG 14
 
1st
ARST 10
WEBER 0
 
1st
VANDY 0
TEMPL 0
 
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
2nd
SDC 9
ARI 3
 
2nd
OAK 28
SEA 7
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5