The stakes could not have been any higher today in Raleigh as two of the states biggest schools seperated by less than thirty miles clashed at the PNC Arena in the state’s second biggest rivalry.
After losing two games in a week’s span of time and with a thirteen game losing streak against North Carolina and head coach Roy Williams, it is not shock that the North Carolina State Wolfpack came out angry.
The Wolfpack put up a 19-point lead in the first half and would have to hold off a serious 57-point charge from the Tar Heels in the second half to hold on for the 91-83 point victory to end their thirteen game winning streak. State at one point had a 28-point lead, so for North Carolina to lose only by 8 shows that despite a loss, Coach Williams is teaching this team how to improve.
But, for Mark Gottfried this win meant a lot to a team that many believed began to fall apart this week after their lose to Wake Forest.
“Our program’s lost a lot of games to North Carolina — they’ve been great, you’ve got to give them credit,” second-year coach Mark Gottfried said. “They are good and have been good. We’re trying to get good. We’re trying to climb up the mountain, and at some point, you’ve got to turn it a little bit and this is a start.”
Lorenzo Brown led the Wolfpack with 19 points and 11 assists. Richard Howell grabbed 14 rebounds and CJ Leslie had 3 steals.
For the Tar Heels, PJ Hairston came off the bench to lead his team in points scored with 19. James Michael McAdoo had 11 rebounds. Dexter Strickland played some solid defense but lead in assists with 6.
After starting to play some really good basketball, the Tar Heels had a miserable first half and the frustration could be seen on Coach Williams face.
“I don’t care about learning experiences,” Williams said. “Learning experiences, that’s for babies. Our guys have got to play. We’ve had enough learning experiences. We’ve got to play.”
The good news for North Carolina is they still lead the overall series against NC State 147-46. However, the first half showed that this team still has some work to do.
The Tar Heels look to rebound from this loss when the travel to Boston College on Tuesday. State looks to grab another win when they travel to play Virginia on Tuesday!