Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: NC State 88, Stanford 79
By Robbi Pickeral
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A year ago, NC State lost at Stanford in particularly painful fashion, as the Cardinal used a late 16-1 comeback run to prevail.
Tuesday at PNC Arena, No. 25 NC State made sure that didn’t happen again. Using a flurry of 3-pointers from sharpshooter Scott Wood early, some timely buckets from point guard Lorenzo Brown late, and another solid game from senior big man Richard Howell throughout, the Wolfpack won their fourth consecutive game while halting Stanford’s winning streak at three with an 88-79 victory.
Turning point: Leading by as many as 17 points in the second half, the Wolfpack (8-2) found themselves ahead by only seven with under six minutes left -- roughly the same margin, and time remaining before the meltdown a year ago. But with 5:02 left, Howell drove through the lane to give his team a nine-point cushion. Teammate T.J. Warren made a block on the other end, and C.J. Leslie (out with leg cramps down the stretch the last time these two teams met) buried a baseline jumper to give the Pack a 75-64 cushion.
Key players: It was hard to pick just one for the Wolfpack, as Wood scored 15 of his 17 points before halftime, Brown scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half, Howell recorded his fourth straight double-double and Leslie finished with 16 points. … Dwight Powell led the Cardinal (7-4) with 23 points.
Key stats: State had a season-high eight blocks in the first half alone, and recorded 11 for the game.
Up next: NC State plays St. Bonaventure at home on Saturday. Stanford plays at Northwestern on Friday.