RALEIGH – N.C. State leads Maryland 36-30 at halftime in the ACC opener for both teams and coaches Mark Gottfried and Mark Turgeon. Here are a few observations from the first half here at the RBC Center.
-- N.C. State outrebounded Maryland 19-12 in the first half. That’s important for the Wolfpack against Maryland’s 7-foot center Alex Len. Not only are the Wolfpack holding the Terrapins to just one shot, but they are also taking advantage when they run in transition – which included at dunk from forward C.J. Leslie that was the biggest highlight in the first half that brought the home crowd to its feet.
Both Leslie (six rebounds) and forward Richard Howell (two rebounds) have been active on the backboard.
-- Leslie leads the Wolfpack with 12 points. A few of his baskets have come after grabbing offensive rebounds. At times Leslie was too aggressive in turning the ball over two times, but he’s outplaying any big man Maryland puts on him.
-- N.C. State built its lead, and maintained it for much of the first half, on a 5-0 run midway through the half by playing solid defense. The Wolfpack also finished the half well on the defensive end. N.C. State held Maryland scoreless for the final 2:36 left on the clock. The Terrapins have turned the ball over seven times, and some of them were unforced errors.
-- Forward Scott Wood has been sharp coming off screens. Wood started the game making his first three shots. His 3-pointer, coming off a screen, helped stretch Maryland’s defense. He also recorded a block in the first half.
-- This game should stay close throughout the second half as N.C. State’s biggest lead was five. Maryland clearly wants to take time of the clock and go through its offensive sets. When Maryland is passing the ball from side-to-side, the Terrapins have scored. Guard Terrell Stoglin leads Maryland with eight points.