Dec. 27, 2013
NC State will be aiming for its second win over a team from the SEC in 10 days when #25 Missouri comes to Raleigh Saturday night. The Wolfpack (9-2) has won seven straight games and is coming off a 90-79 win over East Carolina. Missouri (10-1) is coming to NC State after suffering its first loss of the season, a 65-64 loss to Illinois in St. Louis.
NC State leads the series against Mizzou 2-1, but the last meeting came in 1995 in Hawaii. The two teams also split a pair of games in the early 1980s.
Few players in college basketball are as hot right as T.J. Warren, the ACC's leading scorer at 23.9 points per game. He scored a career-high 32 points (25 in the first half) against ECU and had 21 points and 11 rebounds at Tennessee. With its current starting lineup that includes Jordan Vandenberg and Anthony 'Cat' Barber, NC State is 7-0.
Missouri, which has wins over Northwestern, West Virginia and UCLA, is led by 6-5 junior Jordan Clarkson. He averages 19.9 points per game. Jabari Brown, a transfer from Oregon, scores 18.2 points per game.
Following Saturday night's game vs. Missouri, NC State will have one more nonconference game. The Wolfpack will play UNC Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.
1. WIN STREAK AT 7
NC State brings a seven-game win streak into Saturday night's showdown vs. Missouri. The 2012-13 Wolfpack built a streak of 10 straight that included a 7-0 record in December and a 3-0 start to ACC play. NC State's previous win streak that grew to be as many as seven straight came during the 2007-08 season.
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 .552 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 nine of NC State's 11 games this season.
3. DEFENDING RALEIGH
NC State, now 8-1 at home this season, has won 14 of its last 15 contests in Raleigh dating back to last season. The Pack is 36-8 in home games since Mark Gottfried came to NCSU, including a 25-3 mark at home against nonconference opponents. NC State was 16-1 at home last season (15-1 at PNC Arena).
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 .497 field goal percentage. NC State has posted seven outings with .500 shooting or better, including its .582 offensive display last week against East Carolina. 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 FOR 2
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 65.4 percent 2-point scoring distribution. Further, NC State is 11th in the nation and third in the ACC with a .561 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc.