Feb. 25, 2014
The Last Meeting
February 1, 2014
Chapel Hill, N.C.
North Carolina Holds Off NC State
NC State shot 65 percent in the second half but couldn't overcome a large first-half deficit in an 84-70 loss at North Carolina on Saturday.
NC State will host long-time rival in a sold-out PNC Arena Wednesday night at 8 p.m. A Wednesday victory would go a long way to help the postseason aspirations for the Wolfpack (17-10, 7-7).
NC State, currently sixth in the ACC and ranked 55th in the RPI, can gain its top win of the season by defeating the Tar Heels (20-7, 10-4). North Carolina, a team NC State head coach Mark Gottfried calls "the hottest team in America." UNC has won nine straight coming into Wednesday's contest.
The Wolfpack is coming off a 71-64 win at Virginia Tech, which ended a three-game road swing. T.J. Warren, the ACC's most prolific and efficient scorer, poured in 31 points in the win. It was his sixth 30-point effort of the season. Warren also leads the conference in offensive rebounds and leads the nation in field goals made per game.
After Wednesday's home game vs. North Carolina, the Pack will remain at home to face Miami Saturday, March 1 at noon.
The Starting 5 - The Top 5 Storylines For This Game
1. THE TOP SCORER IN THE TOP CONFERENCES
T.J. Warren is the ACC's leading scorer with 23.3 points per game and is the top scorer among all players in the Power 5 conferences. He leads the ACC in both 20-point games (23) and 30-point outings (6). The 6-8 sophomore is the only player in the ACC with multiple 30-point performances. Warren poured in 31 points at Virginia Tech, 11 days after he totaled a career-best 34 points vs. Wake Forest. Warren, who has reached double figures in 28 of his last 30 games, is also first in the ACC with a .523 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). Warren and is also among the ACC's leaders in rebounds (8th), offensive rebounds (1st), minutes played (7th) and steals (5th).
2. `TIS BETTER TO GIVE
Tyler Lewis is on pace to set the school record for assist-to-turnover ratio. Lewis is currently averaging an ACC-best 3.95 assists to every turnover. The previous school record is 3.35, set by Sidney Lowe during the 1982-83 season. The sophomore from Statesville, N.C., has 28 assists against just two turnovers over the last four games. Over the last three games, Lewis has dished 21 assists with no turnovers.
3. STORIED RIVALRY RENEWED
Wednesday's contest is the 226th meeting between the two Triangle schools, NC State's third-most prolific rivalry in men's basketball (behind Wake Forest and Duke). The teams split two meetings last season as the home team won each game. NC State scored a 91-83 victory over North Carolina while ESPN College Gameday was in Raleigh.
4. TURN IT UP AT THE TIP
Ralston Turner, who started for two seasons for LSU before transferring to NC State, has stepped up and become a reliable second scorer for NC State. In his 13 starts this season, Turner is averaging 12.1 points per game. In his first start in conference play, Turner scored 23 points to lead NC State to a win over Maryland. In his 14 games off the bench, Turner averaged 8.6 points per game.
5. PICK UP WHERE THE PACK LEFT OFF
Led by Desmond Lee's 18 second-half points, NC State scored 47 points after halftime during the team's game at North Carolina three weeks ago. The Wolfpack shot .654 in that half, highlighted by Lee's 7-for-8 shooting. T.J. Warren added 13 points in the half, which saw the Pack out-score UNC 47-44.