GAME NOTES: The final game for the NC State Wolfpack in 2013 will be on the road against the UNC Greensboro Spartans at the Greensboro Coliseum.
NC State had a seven-game winning streak snapped by Missouri, 68-64, in the team's last outing on Saturday. It marked just the third loss of the season for the Wolfpack, who are still an impressive 9-3.
UNCG, on the other hand, is entering this matchup on a high note, as the Spartans downed Virginia Tech, 55-52, on Dec. 28. The matchup against NC State represents UNC Greensboro's fourth contest this season in which the Spartans have been matched up with an ACC team.
This matchup will end the non-conference portion of the two programs' schedules. The Spartans will head into Southern Conference play next, while the Wolfpack will start up ACC competition following this clash.
Almost exactly a year ago, NC State downed UNC Greensboro, 89-68, in Raleigh, to improve to 8-0 against the Spartans all-time.
Against Missouri, NC State's T.J. Warren notched a double-double with a game- high 24 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to the Tigers. NC State hasn't lost in back-to-back games this season. It was Warren's sixth career double-double, and the fourth this season. Freshman Kyle Washington scored a career-high 10 points coming off the bench. NC State scored the game's opening basket and never trailed during the first half of play, going into halftime with a 32-30 lead. In the second half, the Wolfpack held onto the lead for the first eight minutes, then went on a 10-2 run, opening up a 53-43 lead. Missouri came back and took the lead in a dramatic final few minutes to earn the win. Desmond Lee scored 12 points for NC State in the loss.
Warren is by far the leading scorer on the Wolfpack, averaging 23.9 ppg this season. The talented sophomore also averages 7.8 rpg, leads the team in steals with 21, has eight blocks this season, and shoots at 54.4 percent from the floor. Anthony Barber, a freshman guard, is second on the team in scoring with 11.8 ppg and leads the team with 53 assists.
The Spartans' win over Virginia Tech was not only the first win over an ACC team this season for the program, but the second in school history. The Spartans rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit and outscored the Hokies 23-9 over the final 10:06 of the game. UNCG hit 14-of-16 from the free-throw line in the contest compared to Virginia Tech's lousy 13-of-23 performance from the charity stripe. Kyle Cain notched his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 8-of-14 from the field. He and Kayel Locke combined for 33 points, 23 in the second half, to help lift UNCG to victory.
Cain leads the Spartans this season in scoring with 16.1 ppg and a 52.8 shooting percentage, followed by Tevon Saddler at 11.8 ppg. Saddler also leads the team in steals with 13. Cain is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 8.6 boards per game. Locke, averaging 11.6 ppg, is second on the team in rebounding with 4.8 rpg.
Given the Spartans' history against ACC teams and the depth of the Wolfpack roster, it appears NC State has the upper hand as the team goes for its 10th win.
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