NC State 80, Virginia Tech 63

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 14, 2013
Richard Howell scored 22 points with 12 rebounds while Lorenzo Brown led the defensive effort on league player of the year Erick Green to help North Carolina State beat Virginia Tech 80-63 in Thursday's first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. C.J. Leslie scored 15 points for the fifth-seeded Wolfpack (23-9), who shot 52.8 percent (28 of 53) and took control with an 11-0 second-half run. N.C. State led by 17 points after that spurt and never let the 12th-seeded Hokies (13-19) get the margin under double figures again. Brown had nine points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, but did his best work as a nagging defense presence against Green - the nation's leading scorer at 25.4 points per game. Green finished with 15 on 5-for-19 shooting for one more frustrating ACC tournament performance in the senior's final game. The Wolfpack advanced to Friday's quarterfinals to face fourth-seeded Virginia. N.C. State certainly didn't expect to be in Thursday's first round considering it entered the year as the league favorite for the first time since the 1974-75 season and carrying a No. 6 national ranking, the program's highest in 29 years. But the Wolfpack played inconsistently much of the year and squandered a chance to earn a top-four seed and a first-round bye by losing at Florida State in last weekend's finale. Yet the Wolfpack had relatively little trouble against the last-place Hokies in what the team hopes is just the start of another postseason run after reaching the ACC semifinals and the NCAA tournament's round of 16 last season. Howell, a first-team all-ACC performer, finished 11-for-13 from the field. Leslie added seven rebounds as N.C. State took a 40-25 rebounding advantage. Freshman Rodney Purvis punctuated the win by throwing down a slam over Virginia Tech's Christian Beyer with 2 seconds left. Virginia Tech shot 50 percent in the first half and trailed 38-32 at the break, but fell to 35.3 percent (12 for 34) after halftime as the Wolfpack pulled away. N.C. State won the first meeting in overtime on Feb. 16, though Green had 29 points and eight assists in that one. He didn't come anywhere near that with Brown chasing him around the court this time, while other Wolfpack defenders were quick to give help if Green managed to get a step on the 6-foot-5 junior. N.C. State led just 48-42 before freshman T.J. Warren started the decisive run with a 3-pointer, then Brown found Howell ahead in transition for a slam. After another basket from Warren, Brown found Howell in the lane for a score, then found Purvis for a transition layup that made it 59-42 with about 12 minutes left. Virginia Tech got no closer than 10 again. Green had shot just 33 percent in his six career tournament games coming in, including 20.8 percent (5 for 24) from 3-point range. Going back to his 3-for-16 performance in a loss to Duke in last season's quarterfinals, Green missed 27 of 35 shots in his last two ACC tournament games.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker