RALEIGH — On the way out of his press conference, Roy Williams stopped at C.J. Leslie, who was surrounded by a crowd of reporters. Leslie excused himself and stepped away, and the two exchanged words as Williams gave him a pat and told him, I meant what I said.
He said Im an outstanding player and that he loves my game, Leslie said. I knew Roy from my recruitment, Ive been talking to him since I was a kid. I have much respect for him.
Howell now has the most double-doubles (25) in a career for N.C. State since Todd Fuller (39) played from 1993-96. Howell took over third-place all-time in N.C. State history for offensive rebounds with 342.
The senior had two of his biggest games against Duke and North Carolina this season, posting double-doubles in both contests.
We didnt come over here to come into the ACC and be second, to be third to Duke and North Carolina, Howell said. We came to win it all. And thats whats going on so far.
The struggles of Marcus Paige against a veteran point guard were reminiscent of former N.C. State point guard Javier Gonzalezs first game against UNC and Ty Lawson in 2008.
Paige missed his first eight shots and was benched briefly in the second half for Luke Davis. Brown finished the game with 20 points and 11 assists and generally took Paige off the dribble at every opportunity.
Brown said he knew he had an advantage over the freshman.
If you just attack (freshmen), theres nothing much they can do, Brown said.
This was the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that N.C. State has defeated both Duke and North Carolina in the same season. The Pack also broke the streak of 13 losses to Carolina, the longest streak in the rivalry.
The Pack shot 20 of 23 from the free-throw line the same number it shot against Duke. Also in both contests, Wolfpack freshman shooting guard Rodney Purvis had a huge dunk that ignited the crowd just before the half ended.
This has been a great freshman year for me, Purvis said. Anytime I get the opportunity to dunk the ball Im going to dunk it. It was great because it built onto the lead that we had and it definitely helped with momentum.