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January 16, 2014

Quick hits from NC State's loss to Wake Forest



Quick hits and notes from NC State's 70-69 last-second loss to Wake Forest in front of 10,881 fans at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem Wednesday evening.

Play of the game


See video:



Highlight of the game


Truth be told it probably should be sophomore guard Codi Miller-McIntyre's game-winner for Wake Forest, but since that would be repetitive we went with NCSU fifth-year senior center Jordan Vandenberg's dunk follow of a missed shot. Once again, the video is courtesy the ACC digital network:



Player of the game


When you make the game-winner, you probably deserve to be the player of the game. Miller-McIntyre had a bigger impact on the game than that however. He had a team-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shootings, and he was clutch. Miller-McIntyre scored seven of the Deacs' last 10 points in the game, and it could have been more had he not gone just 1 of 3 from the free throw line during that stretch.

Argh, another zone


It's safe to say that NC State does not like playing against zone defenses. Vandenberg noted after the game that teams have had good success defending NC State with such a technique and that the Pack should probably expect to see it again, and often, until they fix it.

The numbers bear out what Vandenberg was talking about. In the first half, NC State scored 43 points on 16-of-31 shooting for 51.6 percent. That was the most points in a half thus far in the ACC play and the most since the Pack had 45 in the second half of a 90-79 home win over East Carolina on Dec. 21. That same half against the Pirates was also the last time NC State shot at least 50.0 percent from the field for a full 20-minute session.

Wake Forest switched to an exclusive use of the zone defense in the second half and the result was a complete reversal in the Pack's offensive production. NC State went just 7 of 24 from the field for 29.2 percent and was held to 26 points. That was not the worst shooting half of the year though for the Pack.

Unfortunately for NCSU, it continued a recent stretch of tough shooting halves against ACC opponents. In the eight halves of conference basketball, NC State has shot 40.0 percent or worse five times and under 30.0 percent three times, with the worse being a 23.1 percent effort in the second half of a blowout home loss to Virginia Jan. 11.

At some point for NC State, freshman guard Anthony Barber and junior wing Desmond Lee are likely going to have to step up and confidently shoot three-pointers. Barber is just 2 of 15 from long range in the last seven games, and one of those makes was a halfcourt bank shot to beat the halftime buzzer at Notre Dame Jan. 7. Lee has made just 2 of his last 10 attempts in the last five games combined.

Together, the duo of Barber and Lee are shooting a combine 19 of 71 on threes, or 26.8 percent.

Argh, the fouls


The other big part of the game Wednesday night was the three-man referee crew of Jamie Luckie, Brian Dorsey and Sean Hull and how they elected to officiate. The trio was consistent for both teams, and neither squad was allowed to get away with anything.

The result was 52 fouls called, an average of 1.3 per minute. NC State sophomore forward T.J. Warren, who had a game-high 22 points, fouled out for the second time this season. Not coincidentally State lost the other close game he fouled out, an overtime home defeat to North Carolina Central on Nov. 20.

Warren was one of four NCSU players with at least four fouls. The other were Vandenberg and freshmen forwards Kyle Washington and Lennard Freeman. Wake Forest had four players finish the game with four fouls, but, in an odd statistic, none of them fouled out which means through 17 games no opposing player has been disqualified with five fouls versus the Pack. NC State has had five different players reach that mark a combined total of seven times.

The 52 fouls were the second-most in a game this year involving NC State. There were 57 in that overtime contest versus Central. NCSU was whistled for 31 fouls that evening. The 26 fouls State committed versus Wake Forest were the second most by the Pack this season. WFU's 26 fouls tied NCCU for the most by an NCSU opponent.

Ironically, it was the second straight game at Wake Forest where NCSU had a player foul out and three more finish the game with four fouls. Richard Howell fouled out last season in a two-point loss, and Scott Wood, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie all had four fouls.

What the loss means


NC State dropped to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the ACC while Wake Forest improved to 12-5 and 2-2 in the league. NCSU leads the overall series with Wake 137-101 but it is now 30-43 at WFU, including 6-19 since the Deacs moved into the LJVM. Wake Forest has now won seven of the last 10 at the venue against State.

The Wolfpack was denied their first four-game winning streak on the road since the 2001-02 season. The 1-3 start to league play is the worse under head coach Mark Gottfried. The year prior to his arrival, State started 1-3 as well before winning their second conference game.

Other stats of note


- NC State outrebounded Wake Forest 34-25 overall and 14-3 on the offensive glass, but the latter number is skewed by the Deacs shooting an impressive 54.3 percent from the field. Wake was the first opponent to shoot over 50.0 percent this year against the Pack. NCSU had a huge 23-4 edge in second-chance points.

- NCSU edged Wake Forest in points in the paint, 36-24.

- The Pack won the turnover margin 14-11 and had a 16-8 advantage in points off turnovers. However, Wake Forest was better in transition, slightly, with a 9-8 edge in fast break points.

- NCSU's reserves outscored Virginia's bench 19-18.



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