GAME NOTES: The NC State Wolfpack take aim at their third consecutive victory as they host the Florida State Seminoles at PNC Arena for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
The Seminoles are looking to bounce back from the 78-56 loss they endured at Cameron Indoor Stadium to Duke on Saturday. Florida State did a decent job on the defensive end against the Blue Devils, who hit on only 30.5 percent of their field goal tries. However, FSU allowed Duke to pull down 27 offensive rebounds. Coach Leonard Hamilton's team is outscoring its ACC opposition by an average of 0.7 ppg, making it one of just five teams in the league with a positive scoring margin. The Seminoles are 13-6 overall but just 3-4 in true away games on the campaign. After their tilt in Raleigh, the Seminoles will begin a two-game homestand versus Clemson.
Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack earned their second win in a row on Sunday with a thrilling, 80-78, overtime decision over Georgia Tech. T.J. Warren scored 20 points, including the game-winning basket in the extra session in the triumph. The team played extremely well on the offensive end, hitting on 53.3 percent of its field-goal attempts to overcome the Yellow Jackets' 42-31 edge in total rebounds. NC State improved to a 13-7 standing including a 3-4 ACC mark with the win and also notched its 10th victory at PNC Arena in the process. The Wolfpack will travel to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina on Saturday.
These schools split their season series in 2012-13 with the home team winning each time. FSU won the most recent bout, 71-67, to narrow the Wolfpack's all- time series lead to six games at 28-22.
Okaro White led FSU in the loss at Duke with 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals. The backcourt provided some scoring punch as Devon Bookert added 12 points while Montay Brandon tallied 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor. However, Bookert and Brandon combined for seven turnovers against only three assists. Ian Miller, who was held to nine points by the Blue Devils, is leading the Seminoles on the season with 13.1 ppg on 43.2 percent shooting from the floor. Aaron Thomas is adding 12.5 ppg while White provides balance in the frontcourt at 12.3 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game. FSU's success this season has come courtesy of its tough defensive play, which is limiting the opposition to an ACC-best 37.2 percent clip from the field.
Desmond Lee helped NC State force an overtime period in its last outing with a late tip-in that evened the score with 22.5 seconds left in regulation. The Wolfpack made a key defensive stop before Warren sank a floater in the late stages of the extra session. Warren knocked down 7-of-12 shots from the floor in the game, while Ralston Turner finished with 12 points. Lee had 11 points in the triumph and Tyler Lewis added 10. The Wolfpack are usually a one-man show as Warren is netting an ACC-leading 22.1 ppg to go along with 7.3 rpg. Freshman guard Anthony Barber has overcome his unreliable jumper by driving to the tin for many of his points. The rookie is posting 11.1 ppg go along with 4.2 apg. Lee and Turner are averaging 10.2 and 9.9 ppg, respectively. NC State has won four of the last five games when Lee has scored in double figures.
FSU makes it very hard to score inside the 3-point line and NC State is very inconsistent from beyond the arc. The Wolfpack will need to have one of their better shooting performances of the season to fend off the Seminoles, who are one of the few programs in the nation capable of slowing down Warren.
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