TSX: Frustration Building for Pack?

The frustrations of the season might be beginning to wear on North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe as the losing continue.

Lowe stomped off the court, bypassing the congratulatory handshake with the opposing coach, following the Wolfpack's 73-71 defeat at Georgia Tech on Feb. 6, obviously upset a foul wasn't called on the game's final play.

After Javier Gonzalez overshot a short jumper that would have tied it, Gonzalez managed to get the ball to teammate Julius Mays at the top of the key during the scramble for the rebound.

Just as Mays let go a 3-point attempt, Tech's Iman Shumpert appeared to reach out toward him. Nothing was called, however, and when the ball ricocheted off the rim, State was saddled with its fourth loss in its last five games.

"I don't want to talk about it," Lowe said when asked about the no-call. "I don't want to talk about the officials, but you all saw it. I guess I can say that I thought he got fouled. They didn't call it. I was a little upset at that, and now we move on."

The finish wrote an unhappy ending to a remarkable comeback bid. The 'Pack trailed Tech by 16 points with just over four minutes left in the game before outscoring the Yellow Jackets 19-5 on the strength of a full-court press.

"We put up a trap that we use every now and then," Lowe said. "It was pretty effective for us. It was effective because our guys, I thought, were very active and aggressive at getting to the ball and getting their hands on the balls.

"We needed to do something because they had the lead and were coming down and executing their stuff."

The Wolfpack fell to 2-7 in the ACC and has only a victory over hapless North Carolina Central in its last five games.

The 'Pack gets three of its next four games at home, starting with Virginia Tech. A trip to North Carolina follows, with home games against Maryland and Wake Forest after that.

NOTES, QUOTES
--Junior F Tracy Smith hit the 20-point mark for the third time in the last four games with his 22-point output against the Yellow Jackets. He just missed his seventh double-double, ending up with nine rebounds.

--After being out-rebounded 40-30 in the loss to Virginia in the previous game, N.C. State won the boards 41-34 at Georgia Tech on Feb. 6.

ON THE SPOT
After averaging just 10 turnovers in its previous six outings, N.C. State committed 22 in the loss at Georgia Tech, a season high. G Javier Gonzalez made a season-high seven after making only four total in his previous four games.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I apologized to Coach Hewitt for walking off the floor. I just went to his locker room and talked to him and he certainly understands. The heat of the moment got me right there. I was a little disappointed, a little upset at some things." -- Coach Sidney Lowe, who quickly left the court after the final buzzer at Georgia Tech, dispensing with the customary post-game handshake with Tech coach Paul Hewitt.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP

N.C. State seemed to be getting things together with a 14-point win over Duke, but the 'Pack has struggled since then, losing all four of its conference games. The road losses to Virginia and Georgia Tech dropped them to 2-7 in the ACC and 14-10 overall.

PLAYER ROTATION:
Usual Starters -- F Richard Howell, F Tracy Smith, F Josh Davis, G/F Scott Wood, G Javier Gonzalez. Key Subs -- F Dennis Horner, F C.J. Williams, C Jordan Vandenberg, G Farnold Degand, G Julius Mays.

IN FOCUS:
N.C. State has the opportunity to get things going back in the right direction with three home games over the next four outings, but Virginia Tech has won its last two games to move into contention in the league race. The two teams will meet again in Blacksburg on March 3.

ROSTER REPORT
--F Richard Howell and F Josh Davis made their first starts of the season and were joined by another freshman, G Scott Wood, a starter all season, in the lineup at Georgia Tech. Howell had two points and nine rebounds, Davis four points and two boards, and Wood 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting (4 of 11 on 3-pointers).

--G Farnold Degand has a bruised thigh that kept him out of the game against the Yellow Jackets on Feb. 6. His situation is considered day-to-day.

--F Dennis Horner was in double figures for the second time in his last three games with 14 points against the Jackets. He hit four free throws in State's closing run, including two with 18.1 seconds left to bring the 'Pack within 73-71.


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