Thursday, March 11, 2010
Halftime: NC State 25, Clemson 21
By Pat Forde
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Halftime thoughts from North Carolina State 25, Clemson 21.
Underdogs have ruled the day here. Or at least the first half. The No. 11 seed Wolfpack became the fourth underdog to lead at halftime, following Virginia (won), Miami (won) and North Carolina (lost).
NC State's quick hands produced six steals and forced nine turnovers, which helped limit Clemson to 22 field-goal attempts in the half. The Wolfpack weren't a whole lot better caring for the basketball, though, committing seven turnovers.
Clemson star Trevor Booker led his team with seven points and six rebounds, but it wasn't exactly a great half for the powerful post player. He was 1-for-6 from the foul line and turned the ball over four times.
Wolfpack junior Tracy Smith has shown great improvement this season, bumping his scoring average up from 10 as a sophomore to 17 this year. He's on his way to another productive night this time, with a game-high nine points in the first half.
NC State coach Sidney Lowe is rocking the red sport coat, which gave him good mojo in this tournament three years ago. Lowe wore it every day on the way to a surprising ACC final appearance in '07.