State stops UNC, 91-83
N.C. State finally ended its run of futility against North Carolina on Saturday night.
But, the path wasn’t as easy as it could have been.
State built a 28 point lead with 13:35 to go, saw it dwindle to single digits and then held on for a 91-83 victory that it was its first in 14 meetings with the Tar Heels.
The cushion shrank to nine at 72-63 before the Wolfpack scored eight straight to make it 80-63 with 3:40 left.
C.J. Leslie started the run with a layup. Scott Wood added a 3-point shot and free throw and Rodney Purvis converted two free throws.
UNC made another run, helped by State turnovers. After Lorenzo Brown threw the ball out-of-bounds against the UNC press, P.J. Hairston buried a 3 to make it 85-78 with 59.5 left. T.J. Warren missed the front end of a one-and-one and then James Michael McAdoo jammed in a follow to cut it to 85-80 with 30.7 seconds left.
Scott Wood was fouled on the inbound and converted the one-and-one. After a Carolina miss, Lorenzo Brown hit to more free throws to make it 89-80 that put State in good shape.
State, 18th-ranked , improved 15-4, 4-2 ACC. Carolina dropped to 13-6, 2-3.
Brown led State with 20 points. Leslie added 17. Richard Howell had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Wood finished with 12.
Hairston led UNC with 16, McAdoo had 13 and Reggie Bullock 10.
State took control by thundering to a 45-26 lead at the half, on the strength of a 23-4 run after UNC had pulled to within four at 22-18. The lead was 10 at 30-20 when the Wolfpack cranked up its transition game and scored 12 straight highlighted by a Rodney Purvis dunk on a fast break and a steal and run-capping dunk by T.J. Warren that prompted Williams to call timeout with just two minutes left in the half.
UNC was put an early disadvantage when forward James Michael McAdoo picked up two fouls trying to stop C.J. Leslie in the first two minutes and sat on the bench for the next seven minutes.
State set the tone by scoring the first six points and pushed the margin to 22-10 before Carolina scored eight straight to cut the margin to 22-18.
Lorenzo Brown led State in the first half with 12 points as Leslie scored nine and Richard Howell and Warren added eight.
UNC starters scored just nine points in the first half while the bench accounted for 17, led by seven from P.J. Hairston.