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NC State breaks 13-game losing streak to rival North Carolina, 91-83

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. - Finally beating its rival again nearly became exhausting to North Carolina State.

The 18th-ranked Wolfpack was having so much fun running past North Carolina that it was tiring at times Saturday night, but guard Lorenzo Brown said it was well worth it after toppling the Tar Heels 91-83 at PNC Arena.

"I think we burned ourselves out," said Brown, who scored 20 points to go with 11 assists. "I was tired."

The outcome halted a six-year stretch of frustration for N.C. State, which lost the previous 13 matchups to the Tar Heels.

"I'm definitely glad because I don't want to hear (any) more trash talk from the Tar Heels ever again after this one," Brown said. "I think it's a great win for us and hopefully we keep it up."

T.J. Warren scored 19 points, C.J. Leslie added 17 points and Richard Howell posted 16 points for the Wolfpack (16-4, 5-2), which lost two of its previous three games since knocking off top-ranked Duke.

N.C. State ran up a big lead, giving the Tar Heels a lesson in fast-break basketball in the first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals.

North Carolina's three-game winning streak came to an abrupt conclusion. P.J. Hairston led the Tar Heels (13-6, 3-3) with 19 points and James Michael McAdoo had 13 points before fouling out.

N.C. State's lead grew to 61-33 early in the second half.

"We didn't run back on defense," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "They had a greater sense of urgency."

Even a 20-7 run for North Carolina during the middle stages of the second half failed to create much drama. North Carolina shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, but that didn't soothe Williams' anger as the he dropped to 25-2 all-time as a coach against N.C. State, including a 5-0 mark at Kansas.

"I'm not into moral victories and this pansy type of business," Williams said. "We stunk. ... It was a butt-kicking. I don't care about learning experiences. Learning experiences are for babies. We've got to play."

But back-to-back 3-pointers by Hairston and teammate Reggie Bullock closed the gap to 70-59, causing the Wolfpack to use a timeout with 5:43 remaining. Marcus Paige hit two free throws and the Tar Heels were within single digits with more than five minutes to play.

North Carolina made eight shots in a row from the field until Bullock missed a 3-point attempt that would have cut the deficit to eight. N.C. State's Scott Wood responded with a four point play at the other end as he was fouled by North Carolina's Dexter Strickland.

"In my mind, I said as the ball was released from his hand, ‘Game winner,' " said N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried. "It was a really big shot."

Wood ended up with 12 points.

The 13-game winning streak in the series was the Tar Heels' longest string of success against N.C. State.

N.C. State improved to 12-0 at home this season.

"The energy inside this building creates a momentum for our players," Gottfried said.

N.C. State was reeling just a couple of days earlier, using a team meeting to sort things out.

"I think it was good for our team to hear a couple of guys talk and listen to them and let it sink it and realize what we need to get done," Wood said.

N.C. State held a 45-26 lead at the half even though the Tar Heels scored the last four points before the break.

A string of baskets in transition catapulted the Wolfpack to a 42-20 lead. The 20-2 outburst sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

N.C. State held a 20-0 advantage in transition points by the half.

The Wolfpack built an 18-7 lead in barely more than 6 minutes.

McAdoo was charged with his second foul less than two minutes into the game. North Carolina's starters had only nine first-half points, and McAdoo had four of those.

It took the Tar Heels almost 3 1/2 minutes before recording their first points. North Carolina's reserves scored nine of the team's opening 14 points.

Still, North Carolina used an 8-0 run to close within 22-18 before Rodney Purvis hit a 3-pointer to end the Wolfpack's 5-minute scoring drought. That ignited an 8-0 run for N.C. State, with more to come in a rapid manner.

NOTES: The game marked the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 20, 1990, with N.C. State nationally ranked and North Carolina unranked. ... N.C. State wore red jerseys, which are normally used for road games. The Wolfpack wore alternate black jerseys for its previous home game against Clemson. ... Williams remained at 688 career coaching victories and in a tie for 21st place with Rollie Massimino on the NCAA all-time list. ... ESPN College GameDay was at N.C. State for the first time for basketball. The show will be on hand for another North Carolina game when the Tar Heels play host to Duke on March 9 in Chapel Hill.
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