Wolfpack Outlasts Miami, 77-73
Feb. 29, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. - Led by C.J. Leslie's double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds, NC State pulled out a thrilling 77-73 win over Miami on Senior Night. The Wolfpack improves to 19-11 (8-7 ACC) with the win, while the Hurricanes fall to 17-11 (8-7 ACC). NC State is now 5-0 all-time against the Miami at the RBC Center.
NC State completes the season sweep of the Hurricanes, who came in with seven wins in the last 10 games, as the Pack won earlier in Coral Gables, 78-73.
"Our team's resilience really impressed me," said head coach Mark Gottfried. "The last couple weeks we've had a series of tough games and our guys responded with a desire to compete. They showed we're not dead yet, they've got a lot of fight in them, and they stepped up and made some big, big plays.
"Richard Howell played terrific, Scott Wood shot the ball incredibly well, C.J. Williams rallied to contribute for us, we had great performances from everybody. That's what we needed to come in and win a tough ballgame."
The contest against Miami served as senior night for NC State, with the Wolfpack's three seniors, Alex Johnson, Kendall Smith and Williams were all honored for their contributions to the program in pregame ceremonies.
Four players scored in double figures in the win for NC State. Lorenzo Brown had 16 points, while Richard Howell added 14. Howell scored in the double figures for the first time since tallying 11 versus Wake Forest on Feb. 4.
Scott Wood finished with 15 points, all from behind the arc. Leslie has now scored in double figures in nine straight games. Johnson finished with eight assists to no turnovers.
The Wolfpack shot 50 percent on the night, off of 28-of-56 shooting, while the Hurricanes only made 35.6 percent of its shots. Miami topped NC State on the boards, grabbing 45 rebounds, compared to 39 by the Pack.
NC State jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, off of back-to-back three-pointers from Wood and Leslie. Miami brought the score within three, but two free throws from Leslie strung the Pack's lead out to seven, giving NC State an 18-11 advantage with 11:59 remaining in the first half.
The Hurricanes went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at the 9:37 mark, before jumper by Kenny Kadji gave Miami its first lead of the game, 20-18. Leslie hit a free thow, and Wood banked his second shot from behind the arc to retake the lead for NC State, 23-20.
The Wolfpack jumped out to a 27-22 advantage, before the Hurricanes tied the game up again at 27-all with 5:05 left on the clock. Leslie and Wood combined to regain the lead for NC State, 32-29, but Miami stormed back to take a 36-34 lead into the lockerroom.
NC State shot 41.9 percent off of 13-of-31 shooting in the first half, compared to Miami's 36.6 percent. The Hurricanes took the advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Pack, 25-22.
NC State tied the game up at 36-all coming out of the break, but Miami went on a 6-0 run to grab a 42-36 advantage with 18:28 remaining. Six unanswered points of its own, topped off by fastbreak dunk by Leslie, put the Pack back in the lead, 43-42, forcing the Hurricanes to call a timeout with 15:49 left to play.
Wood hit a three to extend the Pack's lead to seven, 51-44, with 12:01 remaining, but Miami's Adam Garrius answered back with a three of his own to cut the Hurricanes' deficit to four. Johnson made his first three-pointer of the game, giving NC State it's largest lead of the half, 57-49.
Miami used back-to-back shots from behind the arc to get within two, 59-57, at the 7:07 mark, but by the time the final media time came around, NC State had built a 65-60 lead. The Hurricanes fought back, tying the game at 69-all when Malcolm Grant hit a three-pointer with 1:36 left to play.
Wood banked his fifth three of the night to regain the lead for the Pack, 72-69, with 1:08 remaining. Miami cut the lead to one, but two points from Johnson made it 74-71, NC State, with 29 seconds left. The Hurricanes' Scott Durand drew a foul and made both shots, but Brown sank two of his own to keep the Wolfpack up by three, 76-73, with 12 seconds to play.
Miami missed an attempt to tie the game, and Leslie added a point off of a free throw to give the Pack the win, 77-73.
NC State will hit the road for its final game of the regular season on Sunday, Mar. 4, against Virginia Tech. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.