Four days after knocking off the top-ranked team in the country, North Carolina State was left wondering what happened to its high-powered offense.
The 14th-ranked Wolfpack will try to shrug off their first ACC loss and return to their high-scoring ways Sunday night when they host Clemson.
North Carolina State (14-3, 3-1) led the nation in field-goal percentage (52.8) and was eighth in scoring (81.5 points per game) following an 84-76 victory over No. 1 Duke on Jan. 12.
However, that efficiency went out the window in the Wolfpack's 51-50 loss at Maryland on Wednesday. NC State shot a season-low 31.1 percent, but still looked like it might escape before the Terrapins' Alex Len made the game-winner off a missed shot with 0.9 seconds left.
"When you are competitors, you can't wait to compete, especially after a tough loss," coach Mark Gottfried said. "I don't have any concern that they won't be ready (Sunday)."
NC State, tied for second in the ACC behind 4-0 Miami, looks to extend its home winning streak to 12 games and respond the way it did following its previous loss.
The Wolfpack followed a 79-72 defeat at then-No. 3 Michigan on Nov. 3 with 10 straight victories — the program's longest winning streak since 1988-89.
Lorenzo Brown will try to stay hot for the Wolfpack after averaging 16.7 points, 9.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds in his last three games. The junior guard had 18 points in a 72-69 overtime loss at Clemson last February in the most recent meeting, NC State's seventh defeat in its last nine versus the Tigers.
Junior forward C.J. Leslie, the team's leading scorer (16.0 ppg), has scored 18 points in each of his last two games in the series.
For the Wolfpack to recover from Wednesday's loss, they'll want to make sure they get to the free-throw line. NC State averages 24.5 trips to the charity stripe — among the nation's best — but has been held to 16 or fewer in its three losses.
"We have to make sure we bounce back with great energy," Gottfried said.
That might be difficult against a Clemson team that ranks among the nation's leaders defensively, allowing 55.4 points per game while holding its last six opponents to an average of only 11.5 free-throw attempts.
The Tigers held their last two conference foes to 45 points or fewer for the first time since joining the ACC in 1953.
After an 0-2 start in conference play, Clemson (10-6, 2-2) has rolled to home wins over Virginia and Wake Forest by a total of 31 points.
The Tigers, though, will have to find a way to boost an offense that has ranks 11th in the ACC in scoring (64.1 ppg) and has averaged 53.0 points over the last three games.
Senior big man Devin Booker (12.1 per game) leads a trio of Clemson scorers averaging in double figures, along with K.J. McDaniels (10.9) and Milton Jennings (10.2).
McDaniels could provide a spark after finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks against Wake Forest.
"I believe last year once we started winning games and getting our confidence, we started winning more games," McDaniels told the school's official website. "So if we do that now, this early in the ACC schedule, we'll be able to get a few good wins."
Clemson (10-6, 2-2 ACC) at No. 14 NC State (14-3, 3-1 ACC)
Game time: Saturday, Jan. 20, 6 p.m. — PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
PG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, 186, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.9 apg, 2.1 spg)
SG — 0 Rodney Purvis (6-3, 195, Fr., 9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.8 apg)
SF — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, 169, Sr., 12.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 apg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-9, 200, Jr., 16.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.1 bpg)
C — 1 Richard Howell (6-8, 257, Sr., 12.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg)
PG — 12 Rod Hall (6-1, 210, Soph., 6.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.0 spg)
SG — 21 Damarcus Harrison (6-4, 200, Soph., 5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 apg)
SG — 32 K.J. McDaniels (6-6, 200, Soph., 10.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 2.3 bpg)
PF — 24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225, Sr., 10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg)
C — 31 Devin Booker (6-8, 250, Sr., 12.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.1 bpg)
Location: Clemson, S.C.
2011-12 record: 16-15 overall, 8-8 ACC
2012 postseason: None
Coach: Brad Brownell 11th season overall (215-118) and third season at Clemson (48-33)
Series: NC State leads 97-48
Last meeting: Clemson won 72-69 on Feb. 25, 2012, in Clemson
Clemson: Clemson has one of the tallest frontcourts with 6-8, 250-pound senior center Devin Booker, 6-9, 225-pound power forward Milton Jennings and 6-6, 200-pound sophomore small forward K.J. McDaniels starting … Booker, the younger brother of Washington Wizards power forward and former Tigers star Trevor Booker, has three double-doubles this season. Booker had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 71-66 loss to Florida State on Jan. 5, and 12 points and 15 boards in a 68-40 loss to Duke on Jan. 8. He also had a season-high five blocks in a 66-54 loss to Arizona Dec. 8 … The athletic McDaniels has improved from 3.9 points per game to 10.9 points a contest this season. The sophomore has scored at least 10 points in nine games, including a season-high 17 (4 of 4 from three-point land) in a 69-48 win over UTEP on Nov. 23. He also had seven blocks against Wake Forest on Jan. 15 … Jennings, a former McDonald's All-American, has been inconsistent during his Tigers career. Jennings had a season-high 21 points and went 5 of 8 from three-point land in the 59-44 win over Virginia on Jan. 12. He had 18 points (4 of 5 on three-pointers) and seven boards against UTEP, and 15 points in three different contests … Sophomore point guard Rod Hall scored a season-high 15 points in a 64-55 win at South Carolina on Dec. 2 and dished out 10 assists in an 80-57 win over Florida A&M on Dec. 15 … BYU transfer Damarcus Harrison has started on the wing in four games, including three of the last five contests. The sophomore had 15 points in a 77-41 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 23 … Freshman guard Adonis Filer, whose older brother Steve played linebacker at Notre Dame, started against Duke. He exploded for 21 points and shot 4 of 4 from three-point land in a 92-51 win over The Citadel on Jan. 1, and has tallied at least 10 points in seven games … Freshman point guard Jordan Roper also has four starts under his belt and has scored in double figures in four of the last seven games, including a career-high 16 against Florida A&M … Sophomore guard Devin Coleman is redshirting after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon during the offseason. Freshman power forward Jaron Blossomgame suffered a broken leg last April and hasn't played this season … Sophomore wing T.J. Sapp started the first seven games, but left the program and transferred to Murray State. Sapp averaged 3.6 points and shot 22.2 percent from three-point land.