Gary's Game Notes: Florida State Visits NC State
Feb. 17, 2003
NC STATE (13-8, 6-4) vs. FLORIDA STATE (12-10, 3-8)
DATE: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 @ RBC Center, Raleigh, NC (19,722)
TIME: Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. EST
RADIO: Wolfpack Radio Network.
AIRTIME: 6:30 p.m. EST
TELEVISION: Fox Sports South (Regional)
OPPONENT-- Florida State shot 60 percent in the first half and sophomore forward Anthony Richardson scored 18 points to lead the Seminoles to a 71-64 victory at home Saturday over Georgia Tech.
FSU erased a 17-10 deficit against a Georgia Tech team that tried for its first road win in nine games this season and then caught fire. The 'Noles went on a 35-13 run over the final 12:20 of the first half to take control of the game. Georgia Tech (12-10, 5-6) went seven minutes between field goals during the Seminoles' run, which senior reserve center Mike Matthews capped with the final four points for a 45-30 Florida State halftime lead.
However, the Seminoles would have to hold off a second half Georgia Tech rally. Richardson, who added five assists, five rebounds and five blocked shots in his best performance of the season, had four points and an assist after the Yellow Jackets cut the halftime deficit to four with 10:08 to play.
Sophomore guard B.J. Elder scored 16 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer that left the Seminoles clinging to a 57-53 lead at the end of a 27-8 run by the Yellow Jackets. Tech was able to rally on points off turnovers and offensive rebounds. However, Richardson ended a seven-minute FSU scoreless stretch with two free throws, then beat Georgia Tech's press for a dunk and a 61-53 lead.
Freshman Jarrett Jack's driving layup with 2:05 to play pulled the Yellow Jackets within 65-61, but Georgia Tech turned the ball over twice and missed its next three shots. Jack, who finished with 16 points, turned the ball over to Richardson, leading to a game-sealing layup by reserve guard Todd Galloway with 34 seconds to play.
Reserve forward Adam Waleskowski scored a career-high 12 points for the 'Noles while teammate Trevor Harvey also added 12 points, including a putback basket with 8:59 to go in the first half that gave the Seminoles a lead they never relinquished.
The Wolfpack beat the Seminoles 70-63 in Tallahassee on January 18th by hitting 19-28 free throws and outrebounding FSU 37-30. NC State also did an outstanding defensive job on guard Tim Pickett, employing a 1-3-1 zone and holding the Seminoles leading scorer to three first-half points and 11 for the game on 3-16 shooting. Julius Hodge led the Pack with 22 points while Marcus Melvin scored 21 points and gathered 10 rebounds.
PROBABLE FLORIDA STATE STARTERS
22 Tim Pickett G 6'4
* Blocked shots per game
A WIN--Would give the Wolfpack its ninth consecutive victory over Florida State, including five straight in Raleigh. The Wolfpack would win for the second time in its last three games and sweep the regular season series with the Seminoles for the fourth straight year while improving to 7-4 in the ACC and 13-1 at home this season.
A LOSS--Would be the second straight and fourth in the last five games for NC State, dropping the Wolfpack to 13-9 overall and 6-5 in the ACC.The Pack would suffer only its second loss at the RBC Center this season, dropping to 12-2 at home. Florida State would break an 8-game losing streak in the series and get its first victory in Raleigh since 1998 when the 'Noles beat the Pack 68-55 at Reynolds Coliseum.
HITTING FROM THREE EQUALS VICTORY-- In its 13 victories, the Pack is shooting .390 from the arc (120-308) while only .279 in its 8 losses (55-197). A total of 34-percent of the Pack's scoring has come via three-point shooting.
LONG-RANGE WOES--Over the last 6 games, the Wolfpack has shot only .293 from beyond the three-point arc (44-150). NC State has lost 4 of those 6 outings. Overall, NC State has shot .428 from the field in its last 6 games (133-311).
NIFTY FIFTY -- NC State has shot 50% or better in 6 games this season and won all of them. The Pack is 7-8 when shooting less than 50%. Combined, the Pack is shooting .495 from the field in its 13 wins (343-693) and only .382 in its 8 losses (174-455).
EASY BASKETS --Overall, NC State is forcing an average of 16.4 turnovers a contest (344) and is converting many of those opportunities into points. In its last 14 games the Pack has scored 241 points off turnovers (17.2 a game). In its last 3 losses that number has dropped to 10.7 points off turnovers (32). State is averaging 9.0 steals a game (190).
LOOKING GOOD FROM THE LINE --NC State's free throw shooting has been impressive. The Pack is shooting .748 from the charity stripe (324-433) this season.
PINE POINTS-- Last season, the Wolfpack bench averaged nearly 20 points a game. This season is a different story. So far, the bench has scored 248 points for an 11.8 average. Its season-low production was vs. Coppin State and UNC with zero points. Its best was 34 against Fairleigh-Dickinson.
LEAD AFTER 20.....WIN AFTER 40--NC State has posted a 10-4 record when leading at the half this season. The Wolfpack is 3-4 when trailing at the break.
DIRTY GLASS--The Pack outrebounded UVA on 2/9 (33-30), but has been outrebounded in 6 of its last 8 games, including a 94-66 margin on the offensive glass.
NEXT FOR THE PACK-- NC State will visit Duke on Saturday, February 22, 2003, Airtime from Cameron Indoor Stadium will be 3:30 p.m.
WOLFPACK PLAYERS TO WATCH
JULIUS HODGE-- The No. 2 scorer in the ACC at 18.0 ppg. (379), Hodge has struggled shooting the ball lately. In his last 6 games, Hodge is hitting .361 from the field (26-72) and only .172 from the three-point arc (5-29) while averaging 14.5 points (87), 5.0 rebounds (30) and 4.0 assists (24). In addition to his scoring, Hodge also ranks among the ACC's Top-15 in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounding, assists, and steals. He also leads the Pack in minutes played with 729 (34.7). Hodge scored a career-high 30 points and added 10 rebounds vs. UNC on 1/26. It was his 7th game of 20 or more points this season. On 12/14/02 Hodge became the first NC State men's player to record a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists against NC A&T.
MARCUS MELVIN--This versatile junior forward has struggled in his last 6 games, averaging 10.2 points (61), 5.3 rebounds (32) while shooting only .356 from the field (21-59) and .333 from the three-point line (13-39). He is only 2-2 from the free throw line in his last 4 games. Melvin led the Pack at FSU on 1/18 with 21 points and 10 rebounds and was 3-5 from the three-point line. He scored a career-high 23 points vs. Northwestern on 12/4/02 and has scored in double-figures in 16 of 21 games. Last season, Melvin was a difference-maker in the Pack's upset of eventual national champion Maryland in the ACC Tournament with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists on 7-12 shooting from the field.
JOSH POWELL-- The sophomore center has been shooting the ball very well lately. A shot-blocker, Powell could be the most improved Wolfpack player this season. He leads the Pack in field goal percentage (.547) and has been playing his best basketball of the season. In his last 7 games, he has averaged 11.1 points (78) while shooting .627 from the field (32-51). Powell was outstanding vs. UNC on 1/26 with 17 points and 9 rebounds. He tied a career-high with 23 points and added 9 rebounds in the loss to Boston College on 1/16.
SCOOTER SHERRILL--The Pack's leader in three-point shooting at .375 as well as three-point attempts and makes (45-120) is also one of the team's better free throw shooters. This season Sherrill has made 23-27 attempts from the charity stripe (.852). The junior guard scored a career-high 22 points vs. Gonzaga on 12/17/02, but since then his point production has dropped. He's averaged 7.6 points (107) over his last 14 games.
CLIFF CRAWFORD-- The Wolfpack lone senior has been steady in his last 4 games, averaging 9.3 points (37), 5.5 rebounds (22), 3.3 assists (14) and 3.5 steals (14) while playing solid defense. Crawford recorded a game-high 5 steals vs. Georgia Tech on 2/12. He led the Pack at WFU on 2/6 with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while shooting 8-13 from the field. Crawford was sensational vs. Duke on 1/22 with 21 points, 6 assists and played tremendous second-half defense on J.J. Redick. The Duke Freshman was held to only 4 points in the final 20-minutes. In his last 11 games, Crawford has shot .507 from the field (37-73). He leads the Pack in assists (89) and steals (52). Against Wofford on 12/29/02, Crawford scored a career high 22 points while hitting 9 of 11 field goal attempts. Crawford is the team's best defender and leads the Pack in deflections. He is among the ACC's Top-10 in assists and steals.
LEVI WATKINS--The Maryland native led the Pack with a career-high 18 points vs. Georgia Tech on 2/12. He has played well in his last 4 games, averaging 10.5 points (42) and 4 rebounds (16) while shooting .517 from the field (15-29). Against WFU on 2/6, Watkins recorded 11 points on 4-6 shooting from the field--his best outing in two weeks. In the win over Duke on 1/22, the sophomore contributed with 10 points and 3 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Scored 15 points at GT on 1/11 and hit 4 of his 5 attempts from the three-point arc. A 2001 Parade High School All-American, Watkins suffered a torn knee ligament (ACL) vs. Maryland on 12/30/01 and was lost for the remainder of the 2001-02 season. Shedding his knee brace vs. Virginia on 1/5/03, Watkins recorded 6 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists while holding Travis Watson to 4 points and 4 rebounds during the opening half.