Quick hits and notes from NC State's 88-79 entertaining win over Stanford in front of 15,772 fans at the PNC Arena Tuesday evening.
Play of the game
NC State led 47-40 when junior guard Lorenzo Brown made a strong drive to the basket, drawing contact from Stanford junior forward Josh Huestis. Brown finished the drive off with a lay-up, converted the free throw for a three-point play and gave the Pack it's first double-digit lead at 50-40 with 16:08 left in the contest.
Highlight of the game
The play started with a terrific defensive effort from redshirt junior center Jordan Vandenberg, who blocked Stanford junior center John Gage's move to the basket. NCSU senior wing Scott Wood came away with the rebound and found Brown breaking free in transition. Wood threw the long outlet to Brown for an uncontested two-handed dunk.
Player of the game
Brown took over the game in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 24 points, which also matched his career-high set last season against Campbell, after the break. He used his height and athleticism to get to the basket repeatedly with success. Brown finished the evening 9-of-15 shooting from the field and made all six of his free throw attempts, and he added a game-high five assists in 36 minutes.
The only negative is that Brown continues to struggle shooting from long range. He missed all three of three-point attempts, and he is just 3 of 18 on threes this year.
After a couple of uncharacteristic off-shooting nights, Wood found his shot in the first half. He made 5 of 8 threes before halftime and finished the game with 17 points, shooting 5 of 10 on three-pointers overall. The shooting was a welcomed sight after Wood had made just 2 of his last 10 shot attempts in the past two games, going just 1 of 7 on three-pointers and scoring a combined eight points.
Wood's 17 points represented a season-high for him, and the five made threes equal the total he had in the win over Massachusetts in Puerto Rico Nov. 16. Wood has now made 254 career three-pointers. The school record is 322 set by Rodney Monroe from 1987-1991.
With at least 20 games left on State's schedule, provided Wood stays healthy he would need to make an average of 3.4 three-pointers a contest to reach Monroe's record. Wood is averaging 2.4 threes a game this year.
Senior center Richard Howell continues to be a double-double machine. He had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double and fifth in the last six games. Perhaps it's not coincidence the one contest he did not get one in that stretch, a 12-ppint, 5-rebound effort at Michigan Nov. 27, he fouled out in 19 minutes.
Howell, who now has 19 double-doubles for the most by a Wolfpack player since Kenny Inge recorded 23 from 1997-2001, has stayed out of foul trouble for four consecutive games. He's been whistled for just seven fouls in that stretch.
Junior forward C.J. Leslie added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and six rebounds. Leslie also had two blocks, one of four NC State players to swat away a pair of Stanford field goal attempts. For the evening, NCSU had 11 blocks, a new season-high.
Their previous best of seven blocks in a game this season, set against Norfolk State and Cleveland State in the Pack's last two outings, was surpassed by halftime when NC State had eight blocks at that point. The 11 overall blocks were tied for the sixth most in a game in school history.
NC State was leading the NCAA Division I entering last night's game with a field goal percentage of 52.7 percent. That number has now gone up. NCSU shot 32 of 57 from the field for 56.1 percent, boosting it's season field goal percentage to 53.0 percent.
It was the eighth time in 10 games this year NC State has had made at least half of its shots. Tuesday's field goal percentage was just the fifth best of the year for NC State.
This was also the eight time that NC State has had at least four players in double figures scoring. The Pack is 7-1 in those contests.
Spotted at the game
Several former Wolfpack players were in attendance, including Andrew Brackman, Marcus Melvin and Chucky Brown.
What the win means
NC State improves to 8-2 overall while Stanford drops to 7-4. Three of Stanford's four losses have come to teams currently ranked. NCSU improved to 1-1 in its series with Stanford, both games coming in the last two years. Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried is 2-1 all-time against the Cardinal.
NC State improved to 16-12 against teams from the Pac-12, and it extended its current season winning streak to four straight, the longest since a six-game stretch last year from Dec. 20 to Jan. 8.
Other stats of note
- NC State outrebounded Stanford 37-35 overall but lost the edge on the offensive glass 17-12. That led to Stanford having a slight 16-14 advantage in second-chance points.
- NC State had only 10 turnovers, but conversely they only forced six from Stanford. That represented a season-low in turnovers by NC State but also matched the fewest turnovers forced in a game by the Pack. Both teams had 10 points off turnovers.
- NC State had slight advantages in fast break points (15-13) and points in the paint (36-32). Stanford had a significant edge in bench points (33-8).