ACC Notebook: State gets its wish, 2nd crack at Canes
Almost from the half a second that Miami’s Reggie Johnson tipped in the game-winning basket at PNC Arena on Feb. 2, N.C. State has wanted another crack at the Hurricanes.
That day has finally arrived.
The Wolfpack and top-seeded Miami will play in today’s ACC Tournament semifinals (1 p.m., WRAL) at the Greensboro Coliseum after both teams won quarterfinal games on Friday.
Last month, Johnson’s tip-in with 0.8 seconds left completed a Miami comeback from a 10-point, second-half deficit in a 79-78 Hurricanes win.
Following No. 5 seed N.C. State’s 75-56 quarterfinal win over No. 4 seed Virginia, Wolfpack junior C.J. Leslie said the team is certainly glad to be facing the ninth-ranked Hurricanes again.
“Of course I am,” Leslie said. “That was a tough game for us. We felt like we had that game under control and it slipped away from us.”
N.C. State led Miami 54-44 with 13:53 to play and 76-71 with 2:09 left last month. Leslie had a chance to create more breathing room with 49 seconds left. But, with State leading 78-76, Leslie missed the front end of a one-and-bonus.
The Wolfpack didn’t score the rest of the game.
That loss came during a three-game losing streak that also included setbacks on the road to Virginia and Duke.
Since then, the Wolfpack have won 10 of 12 games.
N.C. State freshman T.J. Warren said the team is ready for the Hurricanes.
“It’s going to be a great game,” Warren said. “We’ve got revenge on them. So we’re just going to try to get them.”
WOOD SETS 3-POINT MARK
On the way to 23 points on Friday, N.C. State senior Scott Wood broke the Wolfpack record for career 3-pointers.
Wood made seven 3-pointers, giving him 326 for his career. That moved him past previous record holder Rodney Monroe, who made 322 during his N.C. State career from 1987-1991.
The seven 3-pointers in a game were a season-high for Wood, who hit three in a 90-second span early in the second half when he broke the Monroe record.
“When he gets going like that,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said, “I’m not sure there is a better shooter in the country.”
MIAMI STIFLES HANLAN
One day after setting the ACC Tournament freshman scoring record with 41 points against Georgia Tech, Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan found the going far rougher against Miami on Friday.
With guards Durand Scott and Shane Larkin taking turns guarding him, Hanlan scored 14 points as the top-seeded Hurricanes ended Boston College’s season with a 69-58 win.
“I was out there trying to make plays,” Hanlan said. “Miami did a terrific job on me, and I had a hard time. I could have done more today, but I had a bad game.”
Hanlan made 5 of 10 shots as Miami was able to limit his touches. The ACC freshman of the year did hit his season scoring average. But the Eagles (16-17) needed more as they fell shot in their bid to upset the ACC’s regular-season champions.
“He did a great job (Thursday) scoring 41 points,” said Scott, the ACC defensive player of the year, “so we put a bit more focus on him than anybody else because we knew we couldn’t let him come in and get a good start and get his team going.”
Larkin said the Hurricanes knew it would take more than one guy to slow Boston College’s top scorer.
“It was a team effort,” Larkin said. “They set a lot of ball screens for him and in the scouting report he likes to refuse the ball screens and we liked to make him take those. He did a good job of hedging and trapping on those. So it was a great team effort, 14 today, and I’m glad we held him to what we did.”