Wolfpack Falls to No. 25 Missouri 68-64
Dec. 28, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State sophomore forward T.J. Warren scored a game-high 24 points and tied his career high with 13 rebounds, but the Wolfpack could not pull off the upset, falling to No. 25 Missouri 68-64 on Saturday night at PNC Arena.
Warren notched his sixth career double-double (his fourth of the season) but the Wolfpack could not overcome a hot-shooting Missouri team that closed the game by connecting on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the free throw line over the final eight minutes of action.
"Missouri made some big time plays at the right points in the game," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "That was the difference in the game. They made three big three pointers that really changed the game. I thought we were in a position to win the game, but we have to do a better job. We have to rebound the ball better. Whether it's getting defensive rebounds, not giving up a three, executing your offense to make sure you get the right shots, or not making foul shots, you put all those things together and right there at the end of the game, Missouri made a couple of big shots and that changed the outcome of the game."
Missouri junior guard Jordan Clarkson scored eight of his team-high 21 points over the final four minutes of the game to help secure the Tiger victory. A three-point play by Clarkson at the 3:50 juncture gave Missouri its first lead of the game at 57-56. Clarkson and Wolfpack junior guard Ralston Turner matched each other shot-for-shot down the stretch with each knocking down a pair of pressure-packed three-point buckets as Missouri clung to a 63-62 lead.
From there, the Wolfpack had its opportunities but was not able to capitalize, missing the front end of a one-and-one at the 0:26 second mark and missing a three-pointer with eight seconds to go that would have tied the game.
Warren's 24 points and 13 rebounds are the most an individual player has posted in each category versus Missouri this year. State freshman Kyle Washington scored a career-high 10 points off the bench for the Pack as well.
The Wolfpack scored the game's opening bucket at the outset and never trailed during the first half of play, taking a 32-30 halftime lead. Warren paced the Pack early, scoring 10 of the team's first 21 points before finishing the half with 15 points total.
On the other side of the ball, the stingy Wolfpack defense held Missouri's three leading scorers (Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross) to a combined four points through the first 13 minutes of action. State used a 12-2 run to take a 24-14 lead at the 7:20 juncture before wrapping up the half with a two-point advantage.
Following intermission, the Wolfpack maintained the lead over the first eight minutes of play before embarking on a 10-2 run to take a 53-43 advantage at the 8:56 mark. From there, Missouri was able to come back and tie the score at 54-54 with an 11-1 run of its own, setting up the dramatic final minutes.
NC State will play next at UNC-Greensboro on Monday, Dec. 30. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.