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Clemson (10-6) at (14) NC State (14-3)
Sunday, January 20, 6 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,722) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Clemson 6-3, NC State 10-0. Away Record: Clemson 2-2, NC State 1-2. Neutral Record: Clemson 2-1, NC State 3-1. Conference Record: Clemson 2-2, NC State 3-1. Series Record: NC State leads, 97-48.
GAME NOTES: The No. 14 NC State Wolfpack look to bounce back from their first Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season on Sunday when they host the Clemson Tigers.
This will be the 146th meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. NC State owns a 97-48 all-time series lead after the ACC rivals split their last four encounters.
Brad Brownell's Tigers will be a tough visitor, as they are coming off two straight wins in which they held both Virginia and Wake Forest to just 44 points. Clemson's consecutive games holding ACC opponents to 45 points or less was a first in school history since the league formed in 1953. The back-to- back victories improved the Tigers to 2-2 in the league standings, but they have lost their last two true road games. Senior forward Devin Booker is pacing the team with 12.1 points per game and is averaging 10.8 rebounds per game in ACC play, third-best in league games. K.J. McDaniels (10.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Milton Jennings (10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are both significant contributors in the scoring column, while Rod Hall deals out 3.9 assists per contest from the point guard slot.
McDaniels tallied a game-high 14 points, grabbed a career-high nine boards, and rejected seven shots to lead Clemson past Wake Forest. Also scoring in double figures for the hosts were Adonis Filer and Booker with 13 and 12 points, respectively, the latter adding eight rebounds and a pair of blocks of his own. The Tigers held Wake Forest to 24.6 percent shooting while knocking down 44.9 percent of their own field goals, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. On the season, Clemson is second to last in the ACC in scoring (64.1), but it sits near the top with the second lowest scoring defense (55.4) in the conference.
The Wolfpack return home where they are 10-0 in 2012-13, after suffering a heartbreaking, 51-50, loss to Maryland on Wednesday in College Park. Coach Mark Gottfried's team made a big stop when it needed it in the closing seconds, but the Terrapins' Alex Len scooped up the miss mid-air and put in the game-winning basket. The loss dropped the Wolfpack to a 14-3 overall record including their 3-1 mark in the ACC. Five players average double figures for the Wolfpack, while Rodney Purvis averages 9.4 points per game. C.J. Leslie leads NC State in scoring at 16 points per game. Richard Howell averages a double-double and leads the ACC in rebounding at 10.5 boards per contest.
Although NC State has the eighth highest scoring offense in the nation at 79.6 points per game, it could not figure out Maryland's defense. The Wolfpack, a 53 percent shooting team on the season, made just 31.1 percent of their shots in the game. Point guard Lorenzo Brown scored 17 points with eight rebounds and four assists, while Leslie posted 13 points and five rebounds. Although they are the best offensive team in the ACC statistically, they are also the second to worst defensive squad, allowing 69.0 points per tilt.
Clemson possesses the same kind of interior toughness Maryland used to down NC State on Tuesday, but the Wolfpack will be playing with a chip on their shoulders in front of a rowdy home crowd. Gottfried's team will be able to get back on track as long as Howell matches Booker inside.
Sports Network PRedicted Outcome: NC State 64, Clemson 52
01/20 10:33:55 ET