Pack stops Noles

Scott Wood pours in 31 points for N.C. State, making seven 3-pointers against No. 25 FSU.

Staff writerJanuary 13, 2010 

— Fittingly, the game ended with the ball in Scott Wood's hands. That's where it was won for N.C. State.

Wood scored 31 points, the best by any ACC freshman this season, to shoot the Wolfpack to an improbable 88-81 win at No. 25 Florida State on Tuesday night.

Wood hit seven 3-pointers to lift the Wolfpack to its first ACC win after an 0-2 conference start. Wood amazed himself with the blazing shooting performance -- 10-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-11 on 3s -- against one of the best defensive teams in the ACC.

"On a couple of shots I took, even I thought, 'Why am I shooting this,' " Wood said. "And then they went in."

With leading scorers Tracy Smith, Dennis Horner and Javier Gonzalez, in equal parts foul trouble and smothered by the Seminoles' overwhelming size, N.C. State turned to the 3-pointer, hitting 11 of 23, and in reversal of fortune, the free-throw line.

After missing 10 free throws in an eight-point loss to Virginia on Saturday, the Wolfpack hit 29 of 35 free throws, including a 10-of-10 effort from Julius Mays, on Tuesday.

Without Wood, though, there was no lead to secure at the free-throw line. The lanky 6-foot-7 freshman came in with a reputation as a sharp-shooter but struggled with his shot in the first month of the season. He made as many 3-pointers on Tuesday as he did in all of November. He averaged 7.6 points per game before Tuesday's explosion.

"He just had one of the nights when you have to give a guy credit," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "He stepped up when they needed him to come through"

Wood delivered the two biggest daggers, both 3s, after FSU cut what was a 13-point lead to four points.

With the Pack up 59-55, Wood drained a 3 over FSU guard Derwin Kitchen. The next time down the floor, he grabbed an offensive rebound, one of seven, and drained another 3 for a 65-55 lead with 5:27 left.

"Some of their defenders were in his face, close enough to kiss him, and he was still knocking them down," said Pack guard Farnold Degand.

Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe marveled at how his team found a way to win without the usual output from Smith. Just three weeks ago at Wake Forest, with Smith in foul trouble and limited to 11 points, the Pack lost by eight.

Wood outscored the Pack's usual source of offense - Smith (seven points), Horner (eight points) and Gonzalez (five points) - by himself.

"Our main three guys, didn't have big games," Lowe said, praising freshman Richard Howell's contributions (seven points, seven rebounds) and Degand's (13 points).

The strong free-throw performance, especially in the second half (24-of-28), is what pleased Lowe the most, in light of their recent struggles from the line, and all the practice time devoted to it.

"We finished this one," Lowe said. "I'm just glad that all of the work that they put in, it paid off. It's a great win for our guys."

This time the Wolfpack got to watch the opponent struggle from the free-throw line (25-of-34) and shoot wayward 3-pointers (4-of-13). The last 3 bounced off the rim and into Wood's hands.

The clocked melted down and the Wolfpack had its first ACC win.

"You never want to start 0-3 in the ACC," Wood said. "Hopefully we can keep this thing rolling."

N.C. State 88,

No. 25 Florida State 81

NCSU

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Wood

37

10-15

4-6

1-7

2

2

31

TSmith

26

1-8

5-6

3-8

0

4

7

Horner

22

2-6

2-2

0-0

1

2

8

Gonzalez

15

2-3

0-0

0-1

3

5

5

Degand

26

3-5

6-8

0-1

2

4

13

Howell

18

3-4

1-2

2-7

0

3

7

Vndnberg

14

0-0

0-0

0-4

0

4

0

Williams

13

1-4

0-0

3-3

1

1

2

Davis

3

1-4

1-1

1-1

0

1

3

Mays

26

1-4

10-10

0-0

2

1

12

Totals

200

24-53

29-35

14-37

11

27

88

Percentages: FG .453, FT .829. Three-point goals: 11-23, .478 (Wood 7-11, Horner 2-3, Gonzalez 1-2, Degand 1-3, Davis 0-1, Williams 0-1, Mays 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 4 (Vandenberg 2, Davis, Wood). Turnovers: 18 (Gonzalez 6, Degand 3, Mays 3, Howell, Vandenberg, Wood, T.Smith, Horner, Williams). Steals: 5 (Wood 2, Mays, Gonzalez, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.

FSU

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Singleton

36

7-15

6-10

3-8

2

5

22

Reid

23

4-9

4-6

3-5

0

2

12

Alabi

31

4-6

7-10

1-3

1

1

15

Dulkys

30

1-3

2-2

0-1

0

5

5

Kitchen

31

5-10

4-4

1-2

4

4

15

Jordan

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Gibson

3

0-2

0-0

2-2

0

1

0

DeMercy

8

0-2

0-0

0-1

0

1

0

Loucks

13

0-3

0-0

0-0

2

2

0

Shannon

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Snaer

25

5-7

2-2

1-3

0

5

12

Totals

200

26-57

25-34

13-28

9

26

81

Percentages: FG .456, FT .735. Three-point goals: 4-13, .308 (Singleton 2-5, Dulkys 1-2, Kitchen 1-4, Loucks 0-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 10 (Singleton 4, Dulkys 2, Kitchen 2, Reid, Alabi). Turnovers: 14 (Singleton 4, Snaer 4, Reid 2, Gibson 2, Kitchen, Alabi). Steals: 8 (Kitchen 3, Singleton 2, Dulkys 2, DeMercy). Technical Fouls: None.

N.C. State

38

50

-

88

Florida St.

31

50

-

81

Att.-9,709. Officials-Karl Hess, Sean Hull, Brian Dorsey.

jp.giglio@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8938

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