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January 21, 2014

Quick hits from NC State's win over Maryland

Quick hits and notes from NC State's 65-56 win over Maryland in front of 11,447 fans on Monday night at PNC Arena.

Play of the game

There are a number of big shots that redshirt junior guard Ralston Turner connected on we could choose from, but there was no bigger shot than the second of his back-to-back treys that gave the Wolfpack their first lead of the second half at 48-46 with 8:50 left in regulation.

The Wolfpack would not trail from there and sophomore point guard Tyler Lewis picked up assists on both of those downtown makes.

Highlight of the game

NC State trailed by nine at halftime, but after allowing a bucket to kick off the final 20 minutes, the Pack began to chip away at the visiting Terrapins' lead.

The Pack closed the deficit to three points after a great series that was the finishing play of a six-point Pack run. After an Anthony Barber steal, the freshman point guard pushed the ball up the floor with a court-length pass that perfectly led junior Desmond Lee to the hoop.

With a defender bearing down, Lee bounced it once before passing back to freshman forward Kyle Washington, who finished with an emphatic slam that helped bring PNC Arena to life.

We'll let the video take it from here:

Player of the game

It has to be Turner, who tied his career-high - set at LSU - with 23 points in the game. He stepped up and filled the scoring void in the injury absence of T.J. Warren and also tied his NCSU career-best with seven rebounds - he once pulled down eight boards while playing in the SEC.

The transfer wing was stellar in the second half. After he missed all five three-pointers he attempted before the break, Turner made six of his 11 shots in the final 20 minutes, including a 5-of-10 mark from downtown. He also chipped in an assist in 35 minutes of action, which ranked second on the team.

We're going streaking!

Both teams enjoyed - and suffered - from some extremely streaky shooting. Maryland missed their first 10 shots while falling behind 7-0, and they went 2-of-19 from the floor to open the contest.

They recovered to make 10 of their next 15 shots, while jumping into the lead, but finished by converting just 10 of their last 36 field goals.

Meanwhile, NC State made half of their first six shots before going ice cold. The Pack fell behind when they made just four of their next 28 field goals, but they closed the game strong and made 16 of their final 23 shots.

State recovered from a 22.2 first-half shooting percentage to shoot 56.7 percent in the final 20 minutes, which upped their production from 20 points before the break to 45 in the second half.

It was also a streaky performance from Turner, who really found his stroke at the end of the game. Head coach Mark Gottfried said after the contest that he always tells his guys it is better to make the shots late than early, and that's exactly what The Wolfpacker's game MVP did.

Turner scored NC State's first four points right off the bat with a jumper and layup. He then missed his first eight 3-point attempts, before banging home his first to kick off a 5-of-7 performance from behind the arc to close the game.

Scoring without the ACC's leading scorer

It was truly a team effort in the absence of the ACC's top scorer, Warren. In addition to Turner's 23 points, Lee chipped in 14 with four steals and was complimented for his defensive effort after the game by Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, while Barber netted 13 with four assists and no turnovers.

Washington set a career-best with 10 rebounds, in addition to six points, classmate BeeJay Anya blocked four shots in 17 minutes and Lewis delivered three assists off the bench.

The team was also strong on the defensive end, where they limited the visitors to a 31.4 percent shooting effort. 56 points is tied for the Terps' lowest point output of the year.

Maybe an effort like that without Warren on the floor can propel the Pack to new heights after their star player returns.

What the win means

In Maryland's final trip to Raleigh as an ACC opponent, many Wolfpack fans were happy to send the Terps home with a loss. However, the visitors still hold a 77-74 advantage in the all-time series. Last night marks just State's second win over Maryland in their last 12 chances.

NC State improves to 12-7 on the year and 2-4 in the ACC, while breaking a three-game losing streak. It is important to note, however, the NCSU's ACC losses have come against Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Duke - a group that has a combined 42-12 on the year.

The loss drops Maryland to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in league play.

Other stats of note

- Maryland did outrebound NC State, 50-41, including a 22-10 advantage on the offensive glass. That gave the Terps 16 second-chance points, while the Pack tallied just 10.

- NCSU did have an advantage in fast-break points, 15-11. They also tallied 12 points off of 12 Maryland turnovers, while they gave up the ball just eight times, which the Terps turned into nine points.

- The visitors' bench outscored the Pack reserves, 21-7, and the Terps were also more productive in the paint, 24-20.

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