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Leslie shines but Wood and Brown struggle vs. Penn State

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — In a four-minute stretch in the second half, N.C. State junior C.J. Leslie showed the strength of his game.

Leslie scored on two strong drives, had an assist on a third basket and then buried a hook shot from the post.

Penn State trailed by seven points before Leslie got rolling. The Nittany Lions were down by 17 when Leslie was done.

Warren leads Pack to 85-70 win

T.J. Warren is making the most of his chances on N.C. State's preseason trip to Spain. Warren, a freshman from Durham, led the Wolfpack with 26 points in its 85-70 win over CB Gran Canaria on Friday at the Grand Canary Islands.

Warren, a McDonald's All-American, is expected to help State with perimeter scoring and as a post defender. He has been an explosive scorer in the first three games, getting extra minutes on the perimeter with guard Rodney Purvis back in Raleigh still waiting for clearance from the NCAA.

John Wooden's role in NC State's turnaround

It gets a little overlooked in my front-page story today about N.C. State’s turnaround under Mark Gottfried, but the role of the classic UCLA high-post offense, handed down from John Wooden to Jim Harrick to Gottfried, should not be underestimated.

Wooden, who died in 2010, won 10 national championships in 12 years at UCLA running that offense (although not, as N.C. State fans would note, in 1974). Harrick, with Gottfried as an assistant, won another in 1995.

“The system we run is not the only way to play,” Harrick said. “It’s just the best. … It’s taken these kids this long to really learn it, but they’ve got confidence and see the reads now.”

Tudor: Scott Wood in role of Saturday's X-factor

If Wood is on-target, it will present the Tar Heels with a defensive problem they didn’t have to fret in the first two games.

One of the ACC’s best spot shooters, the 6-foot-6 junior wingman from Marion, Ind. has been almost alternating between hot and cold performances of late.

Pack handles Eagles, Virginia up next

ATLANTA — N.C. State needed to beat Boston College to get another shot to boost its NCAA tournament chances and Scott Wood made sure the Wolfpack took care of business on Thursday.

Wood's 22 points led the Wolfpack to a 78-57 win over the last-place Eagles to set up a much-needed matchup with fourth-seeded Virginia today in the quarterfinals.

The third win of the season over Boston College, No. 242 in the RPI, did nothing for N.C. State's NCAA hopes. A win over Virginia, No. 42, would help the Pack, which has an 0-8 record vs. top 50 teams.

Pack races by Hokies, 70-58, for ninth ACC win

Updated 9:25 p.m.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The last five times an N.C. State team finished with nine ACC wins, it made the NCAA tournament.

Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried thinks it should be six in a row after his team beat Virginia Tech 70-58 on Sunday night to finish the regular season at 9-7 in conference play.

"I think there are six (ACC) teams, right now, that should be in the (NCAA) tournament," Gottfried said.

Wolfpack holds off Miami for 77-73 win

Updated 11:56 p.m.

RALEIGH — Nobody has ever wanted to go to Dayton this bad.

When a trip in Starkville, Miss. or Fort Collins, Colo. for the NIT is the alternative, Dayton, Ohio — the home of the "First Four" of the NCAA tournament — is Shangri-La.

C.J. Leslie and Scott Wood carried a desperate Wolfpack team to a much-needed 77-73 win over an equally needy Miami team on Wednesday night at the RBC Center.

"We're not dead yet," Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said, in reference to his team's NCAA tournament hopes. "We still have a pulse."

Three Points: Duke 78, N.C. State 73

Three Points from N.C. State's 78-73 loss at Duke on Thursday night:

1) Comeback or collapse?

Any time you lose a 20-point lead, especially in the second half, there are elements of a collapse. And after N.C. State's lead over Duke grew to 61-41 with 11:33 left in the game, the Wolfpack certainly contributed to its own demise.

State made 22 of its first 43 shots (51 percent) in the first 28 minutes and 27 seconds of the game and then went 4 of 16 (25 percent), without making a 3-pointer, the rest of the way.

Wood, Pack make it five straight over Deacs

Updated 7:30 p.m.

RALEIGH — N.C. State will always have Wake Forest.

The ACC will regularly take a game against North Carolina away from the Wolfpack when the league expands to 14 teams but State and Wake will continue to play twice a season.

Since 2006, that has been a good thing for State. The Pack beat the Demon Deacons 87-76 on Saturday for the fifth straight time and the ninth time in the past 12 games.

Scott Wood's 23 points lifted the Pack in a closer call than the earlier meeting this season, a 76-40 wipeout in Winston-Salem, and the two lopsided State wins from last season (by 25 and 21 points).

Wood, Leslie lead Pack to 56-51 win at BC

Updated 11:15 p.m.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College started the week at No. 229 in the Rating Percentage Index, one spot ahead of Savannah State and one behind Lafayette.

That's not the kind of company N.C. State can afford to keep if it wants to end its season in the four-letter postseason tournament instead of the three-letter one. Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie saved the Wolfpack from an RPI-crushing loss on Wednesday — and string of other four-letter words from a portion of its fan base.

Wood (16 points) and Leslie (13) lifted a cold-shooting and sloppy State (16-7, 5-3 ACC) team to an ugly 56-51 ACC win, in name only, over the Eagles.

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