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January 9, 2013
North Carolina State wasn't at its best to begin the ACC season, but the result was yet another victory. With a weekend showdown looming, the Wolfpack will first try to maintain their focus and continue their winning ways.
The No. 20 Wolfpack seek their first nine-game win streak in 24 years in their conference home opener against Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
After taking its last three non-conference games by an average of 18.7 points, North Carolina State (12-2, 1-0) found itself down by as many as six in the second half of a 78-73 victory over Boston College on Saturday.
The Wolfpack hit 21 of 25 from the foul line following halftime — six straight by Scott Wood in the final 27 seconds — but that came after they missed seven of 11 in the opening 20 minutes. Freshman Rodney Purvis finished with a season-high 19 points but committed a foul on a 3-point attempt with 19 seconds left and the Wolfpack up by three.
"We were our own worst enemy today and I'm not taking anything away from (the Eagles)," NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. "It's a laundry list of things where we felt like we just hurt ourselves."
North Carolina State, though, is on the verge of its first nine-game run since winning 10 in a row Dec. 20, 1988-Jan. 18, 1989.
It's in that position in large part because of its nation-best 53.1 field-goal percentage and impressive depth, with six players averaging at least 9.8 points.
"You have a team that has six guys averaging double figures and is so explosive offensively," Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. "Adding those three new guys (Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis) does take some time and some adjustment and I think you're starting to see that over the last three to four weeks they are really starting to hit on all cylinders."
The Wolfpack hope to maintain their momentum through this game and into Saturday, when they host top-ranked Duke in a matchup of two of the top teams in the conference.
North Carolina State will be facing a Georgia Tech team that lost 62-49 at home to Miami in its ACC opener last Saturday. The Yellow Jackets have dropped seven in a row on the road in league play — a skid that dates to an 82-71 victory over the Wolfpack on Jan. 11.
That was Gregory's first ACC win and Gottfried's first conference loss with North Carolina State.
Picking up another victory in Raleigh could be a challenge as North Carolina State has won its eight games there by an average of 18.0 points.
"We got our first taste (of ACC play). We see what it's like," freshman forward Robert Carter said. "We see we gotta go a little bit harder in practice and get more prepared."
Georgia Tech (10-3, 0-1) won six in a row after its previous loss Nov. 28.
The Yellow Jackets were outrebounded by 11 last Saturday. Carter has grabbed at least 10 boards in three of his last five games, but he had only four versus Miami.
Warren is second in the nation in field-goal percentage at 68.1, while teammate Lorenzo Brown leads the ACC with 6.4 assists per game. They'll face a Georgia Tech team that has a field-goal percentage defense of 35.6.
Yellow Jackets point guard Mfon Udofia scored 17 points and went 3 for 4 from 3-point range Jan. 11.
Georgia Tech preview
NC State 2011-12 roster
NC State schedule/results
NC State season stats
Georgia Tech roster
Georgia Tech schedule/results
Georgia Tech season stats
Georgia Tech (10-3, 0-1 ACC) at No. 20 NC State (12-2, 1-0)
Game time: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 8 p.m. — PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
Television: ACC Network
PG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr., 12.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.4 apg, 2.3 spg)
SG — 0 Rodney Purvis (6-3, 195, Fr., 9.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.9 apg)
SF — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr., 11.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.1 apg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr., 15.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)
C — 1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr., 13.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.7 apg)
PG — 0 Mfon Udofia (6-2, 195, Sr., 9.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.3 apg)
SG — 23 Brandon Reed (6-3, 182, R-Jr., 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.4 apg)
SF — 3 Marcus Georges-Hunt (6-5, 218, Fr., 11.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg)
PF — 4 Robert Carter (6-8, 245, Fr., 9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 apg)
C — 5 Daniel Miller (6-11, 257, R-Jr., 6.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.4 bpg)
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Nickname: Yellow Jackets
2011-12 record: 11-20 overall, 4-12 ACC
2012 postseason: None
Coach: Brian Gregory, 2nd season at Georgia Tech (21-23), and 10th overall (193-117)
Series: NC State leads 52-37
Last meeting: NC State won 61-52 on Feb. 9, 2012, in Raleigh
Georgia Tech: Udofia and Reed played traveling team ball with NC State's Richard Howell, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie on the various Worldwide Renegades squads. Udofia had one of his best games last year when he had 17 points and shot 3 of 4 from three-point land in upsetting NC State 82-71 on Jan. 11, 2012, in Raleigh. Udofia has scored in double figures in seven out of 13 games this season, including a season-high 16 in a 68-57 loss to California on Nov. 24 Reed averaged 15.1 points per game his freshman season at Arkansas State before coming back to his home area. He is averaging 5.5 points and shooting 32.4 percent from three-point land this season. He scored a season-high 19 points and shot 4 of 6 from three-point land in a 65-56 win over St. Mary's on Nov. 25 Freshman Georges-Hunt, who Rivals.com ranked No. 95 in the class of 2012, has been off to a good start. He scored 18 in a 62-54 win over Georgia on Dec. 4, and has been in double figures in all but four games Recruiting classmate Robert Carter, who NC State offered, was one of the top players in the class of 2012, and ranked No. 33 overall. The skilled big man has a pair of double-doubles this season, with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-41 win over Alabama State on Dec. 17, and 13 points and 12 boards in a 74-58 victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga on Jan. 2. He also had a season-high 19 points to go with nine rebounds in a 73-66 win over North Carolina Wilmington on Dec. 8 Miller has anchored Georgia Tech's interior defense the last two years. He has blocked at least two shots in nine games, including five against at Illinois Nov. 28 and Alabama State. Miller had 14 points and nine rebounds in a 73-48 win over Fordham, and went for his lone double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the season-opening 79-61 win over Tulane on Nov. 9 Brothers Stacey Poole Jr. and Solomon Poole of Jacksonville, Fla., have been reunited at Georgia Tech. Their father, Stacey Poole Sr., played for Norm Sloan and Monte Towe at Florida in the 1980s. Poole Jr. started off at Kentucky and transferred to Georgia Tech, and he's been eligible the last four games. Solomon Poole was ranked as the No. 8 point guard nationally in the class of 2013, but decided to graduate a semester early from high school and joined the Yellow Jackets at the mid-year point. The Poole brothers have combined for 5.8 points per game off the bench Redshirt junior power forward Kammeon Hosley started last year and averaged 9.4 pointsa nd 4.9 rebounds per game, but is coming off the bench and averaging similar numbers in less minutes — 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per contest. He has scored in double figures in seven games, and had 17 points and eight rebounds against the Wolfpack in the last meeting Junior small forward Jason Morris, former Florida State point guard transfer Pierre Jordan, a fifth-year senior, sophomore power forward Julian Royal and freshman shooting guard Chris Bolden also come off the bench.
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