Preview: Stanford at N.C. State, ESPN2

N.C. State gets another chance to beat Stanford

Stanford beat Pack last year after 17-1 run to close at 76-72

lkeeley@newsobserver.comDecember 18, 2012 

NC State's CJ Williams tries to get around the defense of Stanford Cardinal's Josh Huestis during Stanford's 76-72 victory over the Wolfpack at Maples Pavilion.

BOB DREBIN — stanfordphoto.com

— Even though Rodney Purvis wasn’t on the team last year, he knew what happened at Stanford.

“We actually lost to them last year,” Purvis said Saturday after beating Norfolk State.

The way N.C. State lost was particularly painful, as Stanford closed the game on a 17-1 run and won 76-72.

Tuesday, in PNC Arena at 9 p.m., the No. 25 Wolfpack (7-2) will again take on the Cardinal (7-3). Coach Mark Gottfried said he reminded his team about what happened last season.

“We went out there and played well for about 30 minutes and didn’t finish the game very well,” Gottfried said. “We put them on the line a lot in the second half. I think they made 19 foul shots in the second half. We just didn’t finish the game very well.”

One Wolfpack player, C.J. Leslie, couldn’t finish the game at all. Leslie missed the final 10 minutes of the contest with leg cramps. When Leslie played, the Cardinal struggled to find an answer for him. Leslie scored 14 points and recorded three blocks. Once he left the floor Stanford dominated inside and converted 19-of-21 second-half free throws.

“It was very frustrating,” Leslie said. “We definitely had that game, we were very comfortable, but there was a letdown.”

Stanford is well equipped to challenge the Wolfpack inside again this year, especially on the offensive glass. The Cardinal averages 13.2 offensive rebounds per game, second in the Pac-12, with 6-foot-10 Dwight Powell and 6-7 Josh Huestis leading the way.

“Last year, I thought they did a really good job on the backboards,” Gottfried said. “They took advantage of us along the rim. They got a lot of second shots. That’s something we can’t allow to happen this year.”

N.C. State senior Richard Howell has recorded four double-doubles in the Wolfpack’s last five games, including a career-high 19 rebounds against Norfolk State. He is one of four Wolfpack returning starters, but despite largely the same lineup, Gottfried, is quick to point out the differences between the two squads.

“The difference is the other players,” Gottfried said, referring to the freshmen trio of Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis.

“Last year we had older players, and they were good role players, and this year we’ve got talented young guys, and we’re still trying to put all that together. I do think in the last two or three games, we’ve played a lot better basketball.

“We just want to make sure that we keep taking steps forward. We’ve got to get ourselves better.”

Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service