Pack Hopes to Slow Down Tigers

Coming off of a much needed win against No. 25 Florida State Tuesday night in Tallahassee, NC State (12-5, 1-2) welcomes No. 24 Clemson (14-3, 2-1) to the RBC Center Saturday for its third conference game in six days.

The Tigers, fresh off their 83-64 dismantling of UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, will come in on somewhat of a roll. In Wednesday's tilt with the Heels, Clemson pressed UNC into submission, forcing 25 turnovers and shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.

Lowe said NC State will have to slow down and be deliberate Saturday when breaking the Clemson press.

"They apply great pressure," Lowe said. "They do a great job speeding up the game and they force their opponents to speed up the game. While they're going at one pace we need to be going at a different pace, a slower pace. In practice we put six players on defense to simulate how active they are on defense."

Another key for the Wolfpack Saturday will be shutting down All-ACC forward Trevor Booker, who averages 15 points and 8.5 rebounds a night while also leading Clemson's full-court press by guarding the inbounds pass.

"We're going to have several guys have to guard Booker," Lowe said. "He's tough. He just goes hard and I've yet to see anybody take a charge on him. There might be some sort of big time something for taking a charge on Booker. They might get an extra meal or something."

The hot shooting performance of Scott Wood Tuesday night may have been somewhat of a surprise to Wolfpack fans, but based on his recent performances it shouldn't have been.

After starting somewhat slow in the first few games of the season, Wood has gotten nothing but more consistent in recent weeks. Over the last eight games Wood has averaged nearly 13 points per contest while shooting a blistering 48 percent from behind the arc.

Lowe said he knew Wood would have a game like Tuesday even when he was struggling with his shot earlier in the season.

"It was coming on slowly and then he just had a big game there at Florida State. He just got into that zone that shooters get into," he said. "I think it's being more comfortable and confident. You never know when it's going to click in but it did for Scott. He's started to get comfortable with the offense and also remembering to just play."

Fellow freshman Richard Howell has also played well recently, averaging 5.6 points and almost five rebounds per game in NC State's last six contests. Lowe said Howell's progression has been faster than he expected.

"He's definitely playing better," Lowe said of Howell. "He's been on the boards and he's starting to understand what's going on with the offense. Once he really gets it he's going to be good because he's an excellent passer. He's coming and we definitely need that. I don't know if we win that game at Florida State if he's not there."

The constant pressure and run-and-gun attitude of the Tigers will certainly put pressure on NC State to execute Saturday, but Lowe said he's confident in his team's ability to do just that.

"We just have to approach each game one at a time and being at home it's really important that you control your home court because it's so tough on the road," he said. "We have to come out and be ready to play tomorrow."

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