RALEIGH — After a seven-game homestand, N.C. State will play half of its final four nonconference games on the road.
The Wolfpack (7-2) travels to Tennessee on Wednesday and goes to UNC-Greensboro on Dec. 30 before opening ACC play with Pittsburgh at PNC Arena on Jan. 4.
Last Saturdays 82-79 win over Detroit, the Packs first game against a team in the top 100 of the RPI, was N.C. States fifth straight since a home loss to N.C. Central on Nov. 20.
The Wolfpack went 6-1 on the homestand, five of the wins were by double digits.
Well see what we have learned, coach Mark Gottfried said after the Detroit win at Reynolds Coliseum.
Gottfried was pleased with how his team shot from 3-point range, the Pack made a season-high 10, including six from junior guard Ralston Turner, and how his team attacked Detroits zone.
If we are going to get zoned, we are going to step up and make shots, Gottfried said. When you make 3s, you always feel better about it. I do think our perimeter guys were much better tonight looking for the open 3. We did a good job getting them those shots.
But Gottfried wasnt happy with how his team defended in the second half. The Titans scored 51 points and shot 57.1 percent in the final 20 minutes and had a shot at the buzzer to force overtime after trailing by as many as 18 points.
Our help-side defense has to get better, Gottfried said.
He also noted his team has to stay out of foul trouble. Freshman guard Cat Barber only played 16 minutes and spent most of the game in foul trouble. Senior forward Jordan Vandenberg fouled out after 21 minutes.
We have to be smarter at times to not find ourselves in those tough spots, Gottfried said.
The Wolfpack hasnt been on the road since a 68-57 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 12. Gottfrieds teams have yet to win a nonconference game on an opponents home court. The Pack also lost at Stanford in the 2011-12 season and at Michigan last season.
Gottfrieds first two teams had a combined 8-11 road record. Sophomore forward T.J. Warren is the only regular contributor back from last years team, which went 3-7 on the road.
The Volunteers (6-3) are the second top-100 team on the Packs schedule. Tennessee, ranked No. 75 at the start of the week in the RPI, is the first of 14 games the Wolfpack will play against the top 100, and half of those games will be on the road.
Missouri (No. 19) is the highest-ranked RPI team N.C. State will face before ACC play begins. The Wolfpack gets the Tigers at home on Dec. 28.