Quick hits and notes from NC State's hard-fought 78-73 win at Boston College in front of 6,248 fans at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Saturday afternoon.
Play of the game
In a back-and-forth game that was knotted at 64-64 with 4:00 showing on the clock, senior wing Scott Wood, who had endured a miserable afternoon to that point, nailed a crucial three-pointer off an assist from junior guard Lorenzo Brown with 3:51 left, giving the Pack the lead for good at 67-64.
Prior to that three-pointer, Wood had been held scoreless. He was also benched much of the second half with four personal fouls, which saw him match his season-low in playing time with 24 minutes. Wood though scored 12 of State's last 14 points, icing the game with six straight free throws in the final minute.
He ended up making another crucial three-pointer to stretch State's advantage to 72-68 with 50 seconds left. The two made threes give Wood 265 for his career. He is 57 shy of tying Rodney Monroe for the most threes in NC State history with at least 18 more games left.
Highlight of the game
To say this was not a flashy game may have been an understatement. Wood did help NCSU break out of a slump of almost six minutes without a field goal by throwing a perfect pass in midair to junior forward C.J. Leslie for a one-handed dunk with 6:43 to go, cutting BC'S lead at the time to 22-17.
Player of the game
Wood's threes overshadowed the clutch baskets that had been made earlier in the second half by freshman guard Rodney Purvis, who finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, making 3 of 5 three-pointers in the process. He made some questionable defensive decisions, including fouling a three-point shooter with the Pack up three with 19 seconds left, but without Purvis, NC State may not have been in position to get the win.
Purvis is 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers in his last two games after going just 1 of 15 in his previous eight contests. His 19 points is a new career-high, topping the 16 he had on two previous occasions. He raised his scoring average from 9.1 to 9.8 points a game, putting him on the cusp of giving NCSU six players averaging double figures in scoring.
Boston College MVP
Had Boston College won the game, it's no question who would have been the MVP. Eagles sophomore forward Ryan Anderson made a claim for being the best player on the court. He had to labor for his game-high 22 points, shooting just 6 of 15 from the field, but he got to the line, and a lot. He made 10 of 15 free throws and finished with a double-double by hauling in a game-high 13 rebounds.
The production was not a surprise. Anderson, who transformed his body during the offseason to slim down and become more agile, had twice this season posted games of 20-plus points and 15-plus rebounds. This was his fifth double-double of the season.
Subpar shooting effort for State standards
It's hard to argue with shooting 48.0 percent from the field, making 24 of 50 shots. State also closed strong at the free throw line, knocking down 21 of 24 in the second half after going just 4 of 11 at the line in the first half.
But we've been spoiled watching NCSU knock down field goals at an incredibly efficient pace. The 48.0 percent was just the third time in 14 games this year that the Wolfpack made less than half of its shot attempts and the first time since they shot 47.3 percent in a four-point win over Connecticut in New York Dec. 4.
It was the fourth best shooting percentage allowed by Boston College this year. The Eagles had allowed its opponents to shoot an average of 43.1 percent coming into Saturday.
Free throws galore
NC State's 25 made free throws was a new season-high for the Wolfpack, topping the 22 they knocked down against St. Bonaventure in a 92-73 win over the Bonnies at the PNC Arena Dec. 22.
In perhaps a sign that ACC play is truly here, there was 72 free throws attempted, which is the most in a game that the Wolfpack have been involved this year (and Boston College as well for that matter). State matched its season high with 35 free throw attempts, while Boston College shot 37 from the line. The Eagles' season-high this year is 38 against Florida International in its season-opener Nov. 11.
There were 44 fouls whistled Saturday, and three players fouled out. They included Purvis, Boston College sophomore guards Lonnie Jackson and Patrick Heckmann. That was Purvis' first career disqualification.
What the win means
NC State improves to 12-2 after winning its eighth straight game, and wins its conference opener. Boston College falls to 8-6 overall, seeing its five-game winning streak snapped, and is 0-1 in the ACC.
The eight-game winning streak is the longest of Mark Gottfried's tenure. The win was the first in just two true road games thus far this season, and it extended the Pack's winning streak over Boston College to four straight. Boston College still leads the overall series between the two teams. The Eagles have won eight of the 15 matchups.
NCSU improved to 34-26 in ACC openers and 15-18 when opening ACC play on the road. The last time NC State won a league opener played away from Raleigh was a two-point win at Georgia Tech during the 1997-98 campaign.
This was the first time the Pack had opened conference play at Boston College.
Other stats of note
- NC State outrebounded Boston College 32-31 overall and 9-8 on the offensive glass. Despite that the Eagles had a 14-8 edge in second-chance points.
- The Wolfpack had the edge in the paint, outscoring the Eagles 34-28. State was also much better in transition, owning a 10-4 edge in fast break points.
- NCSU won the turnover margin 8-7 and had a 11-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
- State's bench outscored BC's reserves 11-7. Freshman forward T.J. Warren was responsible for all of the Pack's bench scoring.