Notebook: Can State Bounce Back?

NC State (10-6, 1-1) has a big game at Boston College (14-6, 2-3) as the Wolfpack is looking for its first ACC road win. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on Raycom.

NOTING THE PACK

  • NC State is 1-6 all-time against Boston College, winning at BC in 2006.

  • NC State has committed 18.6 turnovers a game over the last five games, just 12.5 in the first 11 games of the season.

  • NC State's three non-conference losses are by a combined 10 points this season.

  • Three different players have started at each point guard, shooting guard, and small forward this season for NC State. The Pack has had eight different starting lineups in the 16 games.

  • NC State is sixth in rebounding margin in the ACC (+5.7) after finishing last a year ago (-1.0).

  • NC State has won the rebounding battle in 13 of the 16 games this season.

  • NC State is fourth in the ACC in scoring defense giving up 63.5 points per game.

  • Brandon Costner became the 41st Wolfpack player to score 1,000 career points. Courtney Fells (103) and Ben McCauley (26) are both within reach of 1,000 career points as well.

  • Costner also became only the eighth player in school history to record 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds and 150 career assists.

  • NC State has hit 39.0 percent (48-123) of its three-pointers over the last nine games, after hitting just 31.3 percent in the first seven games.

  • NC State has allowed its last 13 opponents to shoot just 28.7 percent (68-237) from threepoint range.

  • NC State is fifth the ACC in 3FG percentage defense (.307) and is also sixth in the ACC in FG percentage defense (.398).

    NC STATE TRAVELS TO BOSTON COLLEGE
    NC State hits the road for for its second straight conference game on the road this week, as the Pack travels to Boston College for a Saturday at 2:00 p.m. After winning its first road game of the season, NC State has dropped four straight, including both ACC road games.

    The game will be broadcasted on Raycom by Steve Martin and Jason Capel.

    THE SERIES VERSUS BOSTON COLLEGE
    Saturday's matchup with Boston College is only the eighth meeting between the two schools, but the series does date back to 1967-68. The Eagles hold a 6-1 advantage in the series, including a 3-1 mark since BC joined the ACC for the 2005-06 season.

    Boston College holds a slight 2-1 advantage in games played in Chestnut Hill, and the Eagles have won all three games in Raleigh, and also once at a neutral site.

    The two squads met at the Boston Garden Invitational on Dec. 20, 1967, with BC winning 72-55 at that neutral site. The squads then traded home-and-home games in 2003 and 2004 before BC joined the ACC, with the Eagles winning 93-81 in Raleigh (1/16/03), and also edging the Pack in overtime, 66-65, in Chestnut Hill (1/20/04).

    On January 10, 2006, NC State won its lone game against BC. In fact, the Wolfpack's 18 point win (78-60) versus the No. 15 Eagles marked State's largest margin of victory against a ranked team on the road in over 50 years. The rematch that season in Raleigh was an exciting one, with the Eagles winning 74-72 in double overtime.

    The Eagles returned to Raleigh and posted a 74-58 win in 2007, and last season the Pack fell at BC, 82-65. Overall, Boston College has won the last three games.

    LAST SEASON VERSUS BOSTON COLLEGE
    The two teams met just once last season, with Boston College winning on its home court, 82-65. Thanks in large part to Tyrese Rice's 32 points, Boston College broke a six-game losing streak and defeated the Wolfpack in Chestnut Hill, 82-65, on February 14.

    The Eagles built a 41-32 halftime leading, hitting 56.7 percent in the first half, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. NC State cut the lead to 47-42 with 15:48 left in the second half, but the Eagles would score the next eight points and extend the lead to 13. J.J. Hickson scored 20 points and had seven rebounds, while Brandon Costner came off the bench and chipped in with 14 points, seven boards and seven assists.

    LAST TIME OUT FOR NC STATE
    No. 2 Duke closed the game on a 19-3 run, and overcame a four-point halftime deficit to down NC State 73-56 in Durham on Tuesday. NC State limited Duke to just 29.0 percent (9-31) from the field in the first half, enroute to a 26-22 lead at the break. The Blue Devils heated up in the second 20 minutes, hitting 76.9 percent (20- 26) from the field and made six-of-seven three-pointers in scoring 51 second half points. A Tracy Smith layup made the score 54-53 Duke at the 7:59 mark, but the Pack would only score three more points the rest of the contest.

    Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley each scored 15 points for NC State.

    IN NEED OF A TURNOVER TURNAROUND
    NC State started off the season protecting the ball, but the Pack has been forced into many turnovers over the last five games, going 1-4 in that span as a result.

    In the first 11 games of the season the Pack was averaging 12.5 turnovers an outing, but over the last five games NC State has committed an average of 18.6 a game.

    COSTNER CATCHES FIRE
    Redshirt junior Brandon Costner has come on as of late, averaging 16.7 points over the last 10 games, scoring over 20 points four times. Costner now leads the Wolfpack in scoring this season, averaging 14.6 points.

    He had perhaps his top shooting performance of his career against Marquette in scoring a game-high 24 points. He was 9-of-10 from the field, and hit all five of his three-point attempts.

    Against Towson, Costner finished with his third double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-best 10 assists. He became the first non-point guard to record double figures in assists since the first game of the 2005-06 season.

    MCCAULEY GETTING IT DONE
    Senior Ben McCauley is enjoying a fine senior season, as he currently is second on the Pack in scoring (13.1) and leads in rebounding (7.7). McCauley has increased his scoring 7.0 points a game from last season, the fourth largest increase in the ACC. His average of 7.7 boards is also a career-best average, bettering the 6.9 he pulled down as a sophomore two years ago.

    He has recorded five double-doubles this season, and he leads the Wolfpack with scoring in double figures in 13 of the 16 games.

    YOUTH IS SERVED
    While NC State is led by three four-year players, a trio of freshmen players have seen increased action during the ACC part of the schedule. C.J. Williams started the first five games of the season at shooting guard, and has once again been the starter the last two games. Since he did not see action in backto- back games at Florida and at Clemson, Williams has averaged 19.3 minutes over the last three games.

    Point guard Julius Mays has been the Pack's back-up for most of the season, but has logged three starts. Mays is averaging 6.3 points in ACC play.

    After not seeing action in three straight games, redshirt freshman Johnny Thomas has averaged 15.0 minutes over the last three games seeing action at small forward.

    HOT SHOTS
    NC State has improved its shooting as of late, as the Wolfpack is shooting 47.3 percent (268-567) over the last 11 games, despite shooting 40.7 percent in its first four ACC games. The Pack has been over 50.0 percent in six of those last 11 games, including a season best performance of 58.5 percent at Florida.

    NC State has also increased its production behind the three-point line, as the Pack is 48-of-123 (39.0 percent) over the last nine games, an improvement from the 31.3 percent shot in the first seven games of the season.

    On the season, each of the Pack's top four scorers are all shooting at least 46.3 percent from the field, with Ben McCauley leading the way (.567).OPPONENTS DON'T HAVE RANGE
    NC State currently is currently fifth in the ACC in three-point field goal percentage defense this season. Opponent's have only hit 30.7 percent (84-274) of their long range ties this year.

    But over the last two games, the Pack has been hurt from long range. Georgia Tech and Duke combined for 53.1 percent (17-32) on their three-pointers.

    NC State has improved its three-point field goal percentage defense since the first two games of the season. In those opening two contests, the Pack allowed New Orleans and High Point to shoot a combined 43.2 percent (16-37) from long range. But over the last 14 games, teams have combined to shoot just 28.7 percent (68-237), with only five teams finishing above 31.0 percent in a game.

    PACK STOUT ON DEFENSE
    The NC State defense has been leading the way for Pack this season. The Wolfpack currently ranks fourth in the ACC giving up 63.5 points per game, as only eight of the 16 opponents have scored over 60 points in a game. NC State led the ACC through the first 12 games of its season in that category. The Wolfpack is sixth in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.398) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.307).

    Only seven opponents have shot over 40.0 percent in a game this season. In Sidney Lowe's three seasons, the Wolfpack is 7-0 when it holds opponents under 50 points, a perfect 17-0 when teams score under 60 points, and 33-6 when holding teams to under 70 points.


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