No. 14 Wolfpack Returns to Action At Maryland
Jan. 15, 2013
Game Time: 7 p.m.
No. 14 NC State (14-2, 3-0 ACC) at Maryland (13-3, 1-2 ACC)
SERIES RECORD: Maryland leads 76-73
LAST MEETING: NC State, 79-74 (1/8/12)
TELEVISION: ESPN2/WatchESPN.com Watch
PxP: Jon Sciambi Color: Jay Bilas Sideline: Jeannine Edwards
RADIO: NC State Radio Network Listen
PxP: Gary Hahn Color: Tony Haynes
PxP: Marc Kestecher Color: Bob Valvano
RALEIGH, N.C. - And now, for the next act.
NC State's No. 14 basketball team has reveled in the excitement of its 84-76 victory over top-ranked Duke since Saturday afternoon at PNC Arena, but on Wednesday night the Wolfpack (14-2 overall, 3-0 ACC) gets back to work when it travels to face Maryland (13-3, 1-2) at the Comcast Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and the Wolfpack Radio Network will provide radio coverage.
With a 79-74 win over the Terrapins in last season's only meeting at PNC Arena, the Wolfpack snapped a nine-game losing streak to Maryland.
"We just want to pick up where we left off in our last game," said senior Richard Howell, who was named the ACC Player of the Week for his 16-point, 18-rebound effort. "We just want to keep the momentum going against Maryland."
The ball has been rolling the Wolfpack's way for the last 10 contests, the program's longest winning streak since the 1988-89 team won 11 in a row. A victory in Wednesday's 7 p.m. contest - the 150th meeting between the two old rivals - would give second-year head coach Mark Gottfried and his team the school's best record to start the ACC season since the 1973-74 national championship team won all 12 of its conference contests.
Howell has been a big part of the Wolfpack's success in its first three league games. He has grabbed double-figure rebounds in each of the three contests and posted his ninth double-double of the season and the 22nd of his career against the Blue Devils.
He was a big reason the Wolfpack overcame an early 14-4 rebounding deficit against Duke, grabbing 14 of his 18 boards in the second half.
"I think rebounding is kind of a lost art," Howell said. "It has a lot to do with both mental and physical toughness. If you can't beat 14-4, that means you are getting smacked around.
"It was on our home court and I didn't want to get smacked around."
While he was honored to receive the league award, Howell said it is simply a starting point for him and the team.
"I appreciate the accolades, because it means success for our team," Howell said. "But I'm not satisfied. I'm looking for bigger things for our team and that is an ACC championship."
Wednesday's game will be a challenge for the Wolfpack, which leads the nation in field-goal percentage at 53 percent. Maryland leads the ACC and is third nationally in field-goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to make just 35.3 percent of their shots per game.
In three previous ACC games, the Terps have not allowed a team to shoot better than 38 percent.
The Terps have also outrebounded all 16 of their opponents this season.
"They are another physical team like Duke is," Howell said. "We just have to keep them off the boards."
Under second-year coach Mark Turgeon, Maryland has two double-digit scorers, 7-foot-1 center Alex Len in the middle and Raleigh-native Dez Wells on the perimeter.
"We know we are going to have a good game on our hands," Howell said. "I just feel like if we play the way we did on Saturday against Duke, the sky is the limit. We were together. Everybody was after one goal, and that was to win.
"If we do that every game, it is going to be hard to beat us."