Feb. 8, 2014
MIAMI, FLA. - T.J. Warren scored 27 points and Ralston Turner added 17 as the NC State men's basketball team captured a 56-55 win at Miami on Saturday afternoon. The Pack has now won four of its last five ACC contests.
Warren, who battled early foul trouble and had eight points had halftime, finished 8-for-14 from the floor and 9-for-10 at the foul line. Turner added 17 points, with 16 coming in the first half as the Wolfpack duo scored 44 of the Pack's 56 points.
"T.J. took over offensively," head coach Mark Gottfried said. "In the second half, he was spectacular."
Field goals were hard to come by for the majority of the day, and the two teams traded foul shots down the stretch. The Wolfpack went to Warren and the 6-8 sophomore drove the lane and drew fouls.
It was Turner at the foul line with the game on the line, however. The junior split a pair with 9.7 seconds left to give NC State a 56-54 lead. Miami was fouled on a put-back with 1.8 seconds left. Miami's Raphael Akpejiori split a pair of foul shots to make it 56-55. Kyle Washington was fouled on the rebound and went to the other end to shoot two free throws. He missed the second one on purpose, and a desperation heave by Miami fell short.
"I told Kyle to miss the second FT after he missed the first," Gottfried said. "We wanted them to try and score after a rebound and not inbounding."
State (15-8, 5-5) rode Turner's hot shooting to gain its lead early. Turner made four 3-pointers in the first half to score half of NC State's 32 first-half points. He buried a deep 3-pointer at the 11:05 mark with the shot clock winding down to break a 12-12 tie. The Wolfpack would lead the rest of the half and take a 32-26 lead at halftime.
Warren came alive in the second half and the Pack never gave up the lead. The ACC's leading scorer scored seven points over a span of 3:46 to and Jordan Vandenberg added a dunk as NC State took command. The Wolfpack led 45-36 after Warren intercepted a pass and turned it into a dunk with 9:32 remaining.
Miami's Rion Brown scored 20 points, but the Hurricanes (11-12, 2-8) shot just .333 on the day. NC State held Miami to .286 shooting in the second half of a game Gottfried called one of NC State's best efforts of overall team defense.
NC State hosts Wake Forest Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.