Quick hits and notes from NC State's 82-80 nail-biter over North Carolina Asheville in front of 17,228 fans at PNC Arena on Friday night.
Play of the game
After a three-point play from Richard Howell, thanks to an intentional foul on Asheville, senior Scott Wood knocked down a jumper with 3:01 to play that extended the Wolfpack's lead to four points, and they never looked back.
At the point of the basket, four points marked the Pack's biggest lead of the game, although they eventually extended it to seven. The ending was not without drama, but the team held on for the victory in the end.
Wood also had another big bucket to give the team a four-point lead. Coming out of a timeout with 1:17 left in the game, a screen was called for Wood and he nailed the shot from downtown. That made it a 76-72 game, and it actually marked the team's only three-point attempt in the second half.
Highlight of the game
Scott Wood was also involved in the highlight of the game. Early in the second half, Wood recorded a block before freshman Rodney Purvis dished to Lorenzo Brown, who flushed with a dunk. That gave the Pack their first lead, at 42-40 with 18:15 to go, since the 14:01 mark of the first half, when the team held a 12-11 lead.
Player of the game
Freshman point guard Tyler Lewis called senior forward Richard Howell a man-child after the game, and it was a fitting description for the guy who willed the Wolfpack to victory. Howell finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds, which were both team-highs, in 36 minutes of action. He was 8-of-10 from the field and set a season-high in rebounds. It marked Howell's second double-double of the season, following a 16-point and 10-rebund performance in the season opener against Miami (Ohio).
The big man has 15 double-doubles in his career, and the team is 14-5 when he tallies double-digit rebounds.
Howell not alone
Howell was not alone in the double-double club. Junior forward C.J. Leslie also netted double-digits in points and rebounds - he finished with 14 points and 11 boards, while he tied Howell with a team-best 36 minutes of action on the night.
Turnovers and free throws plague the Pack
NC State trailed much of the game because of 19 turnovers, which Asheville turned into 31 points. Conversely, the Pack netted just 12 points off of 12 turnovers.
That wasn't State's only problem, though. The team struggled at the free throw line, shooting 65.6 percent (21-32) from the charity stripe. Those 11 points left at the line nearly came back to haunt the team, while Asheville took advantage of almost all of their opportunities, and finished 8-of-9 from the line.
What the win means
Despite the struggles, NC State moved to 18-0 all-time against Asheville. They are now 31-5 in games played against the Thanksgiving holidays and 2-0 in those games under coach Mark Gottfried. The No. 16 team in the nation also moved to 4-1 on the young season and 2-0 at home.
The Pack trailed 37-34 at the half, and that was the second time this year they faced a deficit at the break. The first time was in the loss to Oklahoma State, but this time they pulled out the win.
NC State is now 9-5 in games following a loss under Gottfried, and they are 9-2 overall and 6-1 at home under the coach in November contests.
Odds and ends
- Wood extended his streak of games with a three-pointer to 33 consecutive; it is the longest of any ACC player. He did miss his first free throw of the season, though, during the front end of a technical.
- The team shot 55.8 percent (29-52) from the floor, the fourth time this season that the squad made at least half of their shots. The team is undefeated in such performances. However, the team shot a season-low 33.3 percent (3-9) from behind the arc.
- The team's four returning starters notched double-digit scoring for the third time this year. Howell led the way with 23, Brown 18, Leslie 14 and Wood 14.
- NC State outscored their opponents, 48-44, in the paint. They also held an advantage in second-chance points, 16-7, as well as fast-break points, 23-19.