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November 21, 2013

Quick hits from NC State's loss to NCCU

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 82-72 overtime loss to North Carolina Central in front of 9,754 stunned Wolfpack fans at PNC Arena in Raleigh Wednesday evening.

Play of the game

It was the Jeremy Ingram show in the overtime, and the senior delivered the first of multiple daggers when he nailed a three-pointer from the left wing to put the Eagles up 68-63 with 3:37 remaining. The basket cured any hangover from Patrick Wallace's stunning three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left for NC State, forcing overtime.

Highlight of the game

Wallace is a walk-on freshman from Charlotte who played three years at Myers Park High before transferring to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., last year as a post grad. Wallace made 86 three-pointers his senior season at Myers Park, and he displayed that soft touch when he nailed a huge three-pointer from the corner to send the sparse crowd at PNC Arena into a frenzy. NC State head coach Mark Gottfried noted after the game that Wallace is "a good shooter" and that the coach said he was not surprised the late substitution made the shot.

Player of the game

Ingram started the overtime on a personal 9-0 run to quickly seize control of the game for Central. He finished with a game-high 29 points, largely from the free throw line where he made 19 of 21. Playing just 32 minutes because of first half foul trouble, Ingram was just three points off a new personal best. He also added four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.

Money on the line

North Carolina Central made a staggering 41 of 45 free throws in the game. In addition to Ingram's prowess at the line, junior forward Karamo Jawara, making his season debut, knocked down 10 of 12 himself. The trio of junior post player Jay Copeland, senior guard Emanuel Chapman and senior guard Alfonzo Houston went a perfect 12 of 12 at the line combined.

To put Central's success at the line in perspective, exactly half of their points came from the free throw line. The 41 made free throws were one off an all-time high of made free throws made a Wolfpack opponent set by Iona in 1991. NCCU topped by four the previous highest total for most ever free throws made in a game at PNC Arena. NCSU had hit 37 twice before, against Cincinnati in 2008 and Wake Forest in 2006.

Ingram's 19 made free throws is the most ever by an individual player against NCSU, topping the 18 that Duke's Jim Spanarkel made in 22 attempts back in 1979. Ingram missed Spanarkel's free throw attempts record by one, but Ingram did tie former Florida guard Vernon Maxwell for the second most.

As you can imagine, the high free throw total represented an insane amount of foul trouble for the Wolfpack. Four players fouled out and two more ended the contest with four themselves. The most notable disqualification was NCSU leading scorer T.J. Warren. The sophomore forward was limited to 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 28 minutes and was long gone by the start of overtime.

NC State made 23 of 33 free throws themselves. The combined 64 made free throws shattered the previous PNC Arena record for most in a game of 57 set by Maryland and NCSU in 2001. That game still holds the record for most free throws attempted in a contest at the Pack's home court with 81.

Not money beyond the arc

NC State struggled to get into a rhythm offensively against North Carolina Central's zone, and they were unable to shoot the Eagles out of it. The Pack made just 3 of 20 three-pointers for 15.0 percent. Central was not much better, hitting just 3 of 16 for 18.8 percent.

That helped lead to identical shooting percentages of 40.4 percent for each squad. Central connected on 19 of 47 shots, while the Pack hit just 23 of 57. Ingram made as many free throws as Central made shots from the field, to help put that into perspective.

What the loss means

NC State falls to 2-2 while NCCU improves to 3-1. The Eagles' lone loss was 74-61 at Cincinnati in its opener Nov. 8. This was the first win in 14 tries for NCCU against an ACC opponent, and NCSU falls for the first time in five dates against the Eagles. This was also the Wolfpack's first ever loss to a team from the MEAC. State had won its first 29 games against that league's members.

Other stats of note

- For the second time this year, both losses, NC State was outrebounded. The Eagles had a 37-30 edge on the boards. The Pack did gain a 13-11 advantage on offensive rebounds and used that to outscore Central 11-7 on second chance points.

- State had a 20-13 advantage in points off turnovers and won the turnover margin 14-11. NC State has done a good job avoiding turnovers this year. The 11 actually matched its season high, and for the fourth straight game the Pack had fewer turnovers than its opponent.

- Central clearly wanted to slow the game down, and it showed in transition points. NC State had a decisive 15-2 edge on the fast break.

- NC State outscored Central 38-24 in the paint, and the reserves for the Wolfpack outpaced their counterparts 29-7. State was led by freshman guard Anthony Barber's team-high 22 points off the bench. Barber also had a team-best three assists.

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