Dec. 29, 2013
The Last Meeting
December 31, 2012
No. 23 NC State Powers Past UNC-Greensboro, 89-68
C.J. Leslie scored 21 points and No. 23 North Carolina State pulled away to beat UNC Greensboro 89-68 on Monday. Scott Wood and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points apiece, and the Wolfpack (11-2) kept UNC Greensboro off the boards after halftime while using a timely run to break open a surprisingly tight game.
NC State will be trying to end 2013 on a winning note when it takes on UNC Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. NCSU has never lost to UNCG, boasting an 8-0 all-time record vs. the Spartans.
Playing in the Greensboro Coliseum will give NC State an edge come March. The Greensboro Coliseum, built in 1959, will host the 2014 ACC Men's Basketball Championship, and playing the Spartans there allows the Wolfpack to play a game in the venue where it will be beginning its 2014 postseason. Greensboro has hosted the ACC Tournament 26 times prior to this upcoming March, including last year. NC State is 4-2 in the building under Mark Gottfried.
NC State (9-3) is coming off a 68-64 setback to No. 25 Missouri on Saturday night. The Wolfpack led the majority of the game, with Missouri not taking its first lead of the night until there was 3:56 remaining in the game. NC State led 53-43 with 8:56 remaining before a comeback fueled by clutch 3-pointers allowed the Tigers to escape PNC Arena with a win. T.J. Warren posted 24 points and 13 rebounds and Desmond Lee added 12 points.
Warren continues to lead the ACC in scoring at 23.9 points per game, a rate that ranks him sixth in the nation.
UNCG (7-7) enters Monday night's contest after claiming its biggest win of the year, a 55-52 win at Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Spartans also did it without their No. 2 scorer, Tevon Saddler. Saddler sat out the game with a foot injury and his status for Monday is unknown. Kyle Cain, a 6-7 junior who transferred from Arizona State, is UNCG's leading scorer (16.1) and rebounder (8.6).
After closing nonconference play at UNCG, the Wolfpack will open ACC play against new conference member Pittsburgh Saturday, Jan.4 at PNC Arena. The game vs. Pitt will tip at noon.
1. WRAPPING UP 2013
A victory in Greensboro Monday night would give NC State a 23-12 record for the 2013 calendar year. That would set the Wolfpack with a 47-23 mark during the combined 2012 and 2013 calendar years. Additionally, this is the second year in a row NC State has closed its calendar year against UNCG. Last year, the Wolfpack defeated the Spartans 89-68 at PNC Arena on New Year's Eve.
T.J. Warren, who ranks sixth in the nation averaging 23.9 points per game, is the ACC's leading scorer. The 6-8 sophomore continues to show he is one of the more efficient scorers in all of college basketball, boasting a .544 field goal percentage. He shot .622 from the floor last season, the second-highest single-season shooting percentage in NC State history (.624, Kevin Thompson, 1991-92). The 6-8 sophomore is the only player in the ACC with multiple 30-point performances, hitting the mark against Florida Gulf Coast (30), Eastern Kentucky (30) and ECU (32). Warren has scored 21 points or more in 10 of NC State's 12 games this season.
3. WINNING IN THE NONCONFERENCE
NC State has a chance to have double-digit nonconference wins for the fifth consecutive season. The Wolfpack won 11 non-ACC games in each of Mark Gottfried's first two seasons, going 11-4 in his first season and 11-2 last season. The Wolfpack went 10-4 before conference play in 2010-11 and 11-4 in 2009-10. In all, NC State has won 10 or more games in nonconference play in eight of the last nine seasons.
4. PUT THE BALL IN THE BASKET
The Wolfpack has been effective shooting the basketball most of the season, standing second in the ACC and 19th in the nation with a .490 field goal percentage. NC State has posted seven outings with .500 shooting or better, including its .582 offensive display against East Carolina on Dec 21. The Wolfpack shot .619 in the season opener vs. Appalachian State and was at exactly .500 shooting in victories over Eastern Kentucky, Long Beach State and Detroit. Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, NC State is 21-5 when shooting at least .500 from the floor.
5. NC STATE INSIDE THE ARC
No team in America scores a higher percentage of its points on made 2-point field goals than NC State. The Wolfpack is first in the nation with 65 percent 2-point scoring distribution. Further, NC State is 14th in the nation and third in the ACC with a .554 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc.