Quick hits and notes from NC State's 89-67 win over North Carolina Greensboro in front of 5,072 fans at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thurdsay.
Play of the game:
Perhaps the best individual play of the game came late and when the Wolfpack were comfortable in the lead. Fifth-year senior point guard Farnold Degand got the rebound and was so fast from one end of the court to the other for a layup, that it was kind of shocking.
Degand had another drive earlier in the game that was similar. That kind of play has been lacking for NC State, and hopefully for Degand, his two-game stretch of solid play - 17 combined points vs. Winthrop and UNC Greensboro - will pay off in the future. Degand was the first person off the bench against the Spartans.
Player of the game
NC State junior center Tracy Smith was consistent throughout the game, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 32 minutes. The Spartans couldn't match up well with him, with all his baskets in the lane, contributing to his 9 of 14 shooting from the field.
Smith was able to get good looks thanks to the Wolfpack's quality three-point shooting. NC State went 10 of 18 from beyond the arc, thanks to small forward Scott Wood and junior point guard Javier Gonzalez, who combined to go 8 of 11.
Scott Wood continues hot streak
Wood has gone 11 of 23 from three-point range the last four games, thanks to a 5 of 7 effort from beyond the arc Thursday against North Carolina Greensboro. Wood has shot in four different arenas during the streak, proving his shot is effective no matter the setting.
The Marion, Ind., product, who played in front of his father, Scott Wood Sr., was one of the top long-range shooters in the class of 2009. He quickly won a starting spot with the Wolfpack, but then hit a rough patch, going 3 of 23 over six games from three-point range. Wood went 1 of 4 at Wake Forest on Dec. 20, then 2 of 4 at Arizona on Dec. 23, and 3 of 6 vs. Winthrop on Tuesday on Dec. 29.
Blazing second half
NC State started strong with a 20-6 lead thanks to some hot shooting, but eventually cooled off, and lost a chunk of its lead. The Wolfpack went into halftime leading 32-28 and shot 12 of 28 for 42.9 percent.
Coach Sidney Lowe wasn't happy with some of his players, particularly senior power forward Dennis Horner. Horner scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, Gonzalez 10 of his 15 and Wood nine of his 15, to ignite the Wolfpack offense. NC State went 19 of 28 in the second half, including 6 of 8 on three-pointers, and finished the game shooting 55.4 percent. The Wolfpack go into the 2010 year known as a second-half team.
Javi Gonzalez starting to roll
Gonzalez has scored 59 points over the last four games, averaging 14.8 points. He has also gone 9 of 19 from three-point range during that stretch. He had back-to-back 18-point efforts against Wake Forest and Arizona, on the road, and then had eight points and 10 boards against Winthrop on Tuesday at the RBC Center.
Gonzalez went 5 of 7 from the field, and 3 of 4 from three-point range, en route to 15 points against the Spartans. He added five assists, two rebounds, two steals and two turnovers.
Jordan Vandenberg injured
NC State freshman center Jordan Vandenberg turned an ankle prior to the game after misjudging the area where the court ends, and the seating area begins. Lowe hopes he'll be available for Sunday's home game against Florida. The 7-footer from Australia would likely be needed against the Gators, who have six players 6-8 or taller.
Smith tweaked his back a little bit late in the game, but Lowe said he'll be fine.
The Greensboro Coliseum drew 5,072 fans, and a lot were decked out in NC State gear. The red was flowing in the reconfigured stadium, and the energy in the building was active.
UNC Greensboro's game with Clemson drew 5,672 fans Nov. 20 on the strength of a strong student section. The Wake Forest game last Monday drew 4,716.
Other stats of note:
• UNC Greensboro out-rebounded NC State 38-27, and 16-6 on the offensive boards. The Spartans held a 21-6 second-chance points advantage.
• The rebounding effort helped the Spartans win the in the paint points advantage, 32-30, against the Wolfpack.
• NC State had 11 turnovers, while UNC Greensboro had 21. The Wolfpack held a 28-10 advantage on points off turnovers.
• NC State had eight steals and four blocks, while UNC Greensboro had five steals and four blocks. The Wolfpack held an 10-4 advantage on fast-break points.
• NC State had 18 assists and 31 made baskets, and UNC Greensboro had 10 on its 27 field goals.
• The Spartans shot 42.9 percent in the first half, and 44.1 in the second half. NC State shot 42.9 percent in the first half, and 67.9 in the second. The Wolfpack were 21 of 38 on two-point field goals, and 10 of 18 on three-pointers. UNC Greensboro only shot 4 of 14 on three-pointers, and the Wolfpack went to the free-throw line 11 more times (17 of 22).