GAME NOTES: The NC State Wolfpack try to rebound from an ugly loss over the weekend, as they host the Maryland Terrapins in ACC action at PNC Arena.
On Saturday, the Wolfpack traveled to Durham to clash with nationally-ranked Duke and was tossed aside by the Blue Devils in a lopsided 95-60 final. The setback was the third straight and the fourth in the last five outings for an NC State squad that is now just 1-4 in conference as a result.
Over on the other side, the Terrapins have had plenty of time to prepare for this clash, last taking the floor on Wednesday versus Notre Dame in a 74-66 win at home. Maryland managed to snap a two-game slide with the triumph and is now 3-2 in league action.
Maryland leads the all-time series with NC State by a count of 77-73, capturing a thrilling 51-50 victory in the final seconds of the latest installment last January at home.
Maryland's Dez Wells scored 17 points, all of them in the second half in the win over Notre Dame at the Comcast Center last week. Also scoring in double figures for the Terrapins were Seth Allen and Nick Faust with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Although he was on the floor for only 12 minutes, Charles Mitchell pitched in with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Jake Layman responded with eight points and a game-high 10 boards.
The only player to have started every game for the Terps this season, it only makes sense that Wells is also the leading scorer for the group with his 14.6 ppg, shooting 47.3 percent from the field and converting 79.2 percent of his free-throw chances. Layman accounts for another 12.6 ppg, having made the most 3-pointers (38) for the program, while Evan Smotrycz complements his 11.8 ppg with a team-high 6.9 rpg in order to provide Maryland with a rebounding advantage of 6.2 per contest.
NC State hung around for the first few minutes of the opening half against Duke, but then the Blue Devils took over and left the Wolfpack in the dust. The visitors shot a respectable 48.1 percent from the field in the meeting, but converted just 2-of-8 behind the 3-point line, 8-of-16 at the charity stripe and turned the ball over 21 times. The lone double-digit scorer for the Pack was T.J. Warren who dropped in 23 points and cleared eight rebounds.
One of the top scorers in the nation, Warren is pouring in 22.2 ppg as he shoots 50.3 percent from the field, but his efforts out on the perimeter leave a lot to be desired, having converted just 13-of-61 (.213) 3-point attempts. Warren also leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rpg), which is more than enough reason for him to remain in the paint as much as possible. The only other double-digit scorer is Anthony Barber with his 11.3 ppg, accounting for a team-best 75 assists as well.
Maryland hasn't had much success on the road this season, but after the beating that the Wolfpack suffered just two days ago, this might be the perfect time for the Terps to strike.
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