Maryland hands NC State first ACC loss, 51-50
Posted January 16, 2013
FINAL: NC State couldn't maintain the comeback over Maryland, falling 51-50 in College Park.
4:07, second half: A Richard Howell layup tied the game at 45 all, a Scott Wood three-pointer gave the Wolfpack the lead with less than five minutes to play. The Wolfpack leads Maryland 48-45.
9:00, second half: NC State can't seem to catch Maryland, with less than a quarter of the game left NC State trails Maryland by seven.
15:18, second half: Lorenzo Brown had a decisive dunk in the second half as the Wolfpack edges closer to Maryland. The Terps still hold a small, 32-29, lead over NC State.
HALFTIME: Maryland is leading NC State at the half, 22-16. The Terps are shutting down the Wolfpack keeping them shooting just 21.9%.
7:49, first half: Richard Howell is leading NC State's push for the lead over Maryland. With four points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal from Howell NC State is within four points of the Terps.
11:40, first half: NC State finally scored their first basket after six minutes of play thanks to a bucket by Richard Howell. The Pack trail Maryland 12-4 halfway through the first.
15:00, first half: NC State has yet to score a basket in the first five minutes of play. The Terrapins are out hustling the Wolfpack early and easily finding the basket, leading the Pack 10-0.
Coming off their biggest win of the season, the 14th-ranked NC State Wolfpack put a lengthy 10-game win streak on the line Wednesday night when they head to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins.
The Wolfpack were considered the cream of the crop in the ACC prior to the start of the season, and certainly made believers of naysayers with last weekend's 84-76 victory over then top-ranked and previously unbeaten Duke. Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack are now 14-2 overall and 3-0 in league play. The team's current 10-game win streak is its longest since the 1988-89 campaign.
Mark Turgeon's Terrapins had a strong non-conference slate coming into Wednesday's game with a solid 13-3 overall record, with a lone loss to defending national champion Kentucky in the season-opener. However, ACC action has proved much more difficult. After opening league play with a 94-71 rout of Virginia Tech, Maryland has dropped back-to-back games to Florida State (65-62) and most recently, Miami (54-47).
This has been a very competitive series, with Maryland clinging to a 76-73 advantage all-time. The Terrapins had a nine-game win streak in the series snapped last year, when NC State won 79-74 in Raleigh. The Terps have won four straight over the Wolfpack in College Park.
The Wolfpack are as dangerous a team as there is in the country thanks to their overall efficiency at the offensive end. NC State currently leads the nation in field-goal percentage at 52.8 percent and ranks eighth nationally in scoring at 81.5 ppg. The scoring depth on the roster is vast, with five players averaging double figures.
C.J. Leslie is starting to live up to the hype that he brought to Raleigh when he arrived. The junior forward is shooting 57.9 percent from the field and netting a team-high 16.2 ppg. Point guard Lorenzo Brown has All-American talent as both a potent scorer (13.0 ppg) and deft distributor (7.1 apg). Richard Howell has dominated down low, shooting 62.3 percent from the floor and averaging a double-double with 12.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. T.J. Warren (12.3 ppg) can fill it up as well and is converting 67.3 percent of the time. Scott Wood is the team's resident sniper (12.3 ppg, 45/3 percent from behind the arc). More NC State Stories
It was a potent one-two punch by Leslie and Howell that led the Wolfpack to the big win over the Blue Devils last weekend. Leslie was 9-of-16 from the floor and led all scorers with 25 points. Howell dominated inside with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Brown also posted a double-double in the win with 12 points and 13 assists, while Wood was a perfect 3-of-3 from long range, finishing with 14 points in the win.
If there is a team in the conference that can cool off the Wolfpack, it is the Terrapins. Maryland comes in ranked first in the ACC and third nationally in field-goal percentage defense (35.3 percent), holding 12 of their opponents under 40 percent shooting.
Offensively, the team is holding its own by shooting a healthy 48.3 percent from the field, leading to 74.8 ppg. Center Alex Len leads the way in both scoring (13.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). Dez Wells adds to the frontcourt play with 12.2 ppg on 55.5 percent shooting. Nick Faust and Seth Allen add some scoring punch with 9.0 and 8.2 ppg, respectively.
Maryland was stifled by Miami last time out, as the Terps shot a mere 31.6 percent overall, including a mere 20 percent from behind the arc (3-of-15). Wells and Len were the only significant offensive contributors in the loss, netting 18 and 16 points, respectively. The remainder of the roster combined for just 13 points.
The Terrapins are a strong 11-1 at home this season, but will be hard-pressed to contain the Wolfpack, who seem to have the right balance with an extraordinary playmaker in Brown, inside dominance with Howell and explosive scoring from Leslie.