Freshman guard Lorenzo Brown may have not started the game for NC State, but he was by far the Pack's best player in the loss to North Carolina.
This was the Lorenzo Brown performance Pack fans have been hoping to see more often, as he was able to continuously get in the lane and finish drives or finding his teammates for buckets.
Brown hit 8-of-16 shots, 1-of-2 3-pointers, and 3-of-4 free throws, finishing with 20 points, a game-high seven assists, four rebounds, two steals, and a block in 31 minutes of action.
Now the key for Brown is to use this game as a stepping stone for the rest of the season.
PLAYER OF THE GAME - NORTH CAROLINA
Sophomore forward John Henson was a difference maker for the Tar Heels and a major reason why the Tar Heels dominated the paint.
Henson's 16 rebounds were one less than the 17 Richard Howell, C.J. Leslie, and Tracy Smith combined to total. His seven blocks were three more than State's entire team totaled. He was a presence on both ends and had his best game of the season.
Henson finished with 16 points (6-of-10 FG, 4-8 FT), 16 rebounds, seven blocks, and three assists in 30 minutes of action.
STAT OF THE GAME
+14. North Carolina held a 53-39 advantage in rebounding, with the Tar Heels snatching a staggering 20 offensive rebounds. NC State had problems all game rebounding against Henson and the Heels.
With the Pack shooting just 37% from the field, they needed to produce more second-chance points than they were capable of, and credit goes to North Carolina for keeping them off the glass.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It wasn't one play, but a series of plays that put this game away early for North Carolina. The Tar Heels, facing a NC State game coming off an emotional loss to Clemson, came out fired up and established an early lead that the Wolfpack would never recover from.
The main catalyst for UNC was freshman forward Harrison Barnes. Barnes, who finished the game with a career-high 25 points, hit a deep three a minute into the contest. Next came a Barnes layup followed by a John Henson dunk. After another Barnes basket, Dexter Strickland dunk, and a Barnes layup, the Heels led 13-2 and never looked back.
The game was essentially over in the first three minutes.
NC State (12-9, 2-5 ACC) must try and find some confidence with Virginia Tech coming to the RBC Center.
The Hokies play host Miami today and are 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech is led by star seniors Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen. After a rash of injuries the Hokies are playing essentially six or seven guys so Allen and Delaney rarely leave the floor and have flourished. Delaney is averaging 18.3 points and 4.5 assists while Allen's is chipping in 12.2 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds.
Tip-off for NC State and Virginia Tech is set for 7:00 on Wednesday in Raleigh. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Freshman point guard Ryan Harrow missed the game due to flu-like symptoms. The 6-foot-1 guard is the Pack's second-leading scorer (11.0) and leads the team in assists per game (3.5).
"When I saw [Harrow] this morning I knew he wasn't going to be able to go," head coach Sidney Lowe said. "He's got a bad bug, not even a cold its a bug, that's going around on our campus. We have about 25 student-athletes right now that are going through the same thing."
NC State isn't in a position where key players in the rotation can afford to not produce.