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March 8, 2012
ATLANTA (AP) - Scott Wood made five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, leading North Carolina State past Boston College 78-57 in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Thursday.
N.C. State (21-11) raced to a 14-0 lead, turned back several runs by the Eagles (9-22), then pulled away in the closing minutes for a must-win in its bid to make the NCAA tournament.
Wood swished a couple of huge 3s, turning back any hopes of a Boston College comeback. He finished 5-of-9 beyond the arc, sending the Wolfpack into the quarterfinals Friday against Virginia.
Boston College finished with the most losses in school history, eclipsing the dubious mark set by the 1988-89 team that went 6-21.
Ryan Anderson led the Eagles with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Boston College closed to 43-37 with just under 15 minutes remaining on Anderson's basket, but Wood answered with a pull-up trey. With the Eagles down 48-41, he knocked down another 3 to turn the momentum again.
Despite their first winning record in the ACC since 2006, the Wolfpack came into the tournament resting precariously on the NCAA bubble. They knew they needed at least one win in Atlanta, maybe two, to make a true success of Mark Gottfried's first season as coach.
N.C. State was the only team in the conference with all five starters averaging in double figures, but the Wolfpack went with a more unbalanced approach to open the tournament. Lorenzo Brown had 12 points, C.J. Leslie added 11 and DeShawn Painter chipped in with 10 off the bench.
Lonnie Jackson, with 10 points, was the only other player in double figures for the offensively challenged Eagles, who shot just 39 percent (22 of 57) from the field.
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NC State stunned the Eagles and the sparse crowd at Philips Arena by scoring the first 14 points. Boston College missed seven straight shots, turned the ball over five times and needed nearly 7 1/2 minutes to get on the scoreboard.
The Eagles were down by as many as 17 in the first half, but they closed the gap when North Carolina State went cold. The Wolfpack missed eight straight shots, allowing Boston College to cut the deficit to 32-24.
But sloppiness in the final seconds cost the Eagles dearly. With a chance to set up for the final shot of the half, Boston College turned it over not once, but twice. Brown stripped the ball away from Jordan Daniels and went in for a layup, also drawing a foul on Daniels. Brown missed the free throw and Boston College rebounded, only to have Daniels give it away again.
C.J. Williams scooped up the loose ball, took off the other way with the clock running down, pulled up beyond the 3-point arc and swished a jumper as the horn sounded. The Wolfpack, who could've been ahead by only six points, instead went to the locker room with a 37-24 lead.
FANS' GUIDE TO THE ACC TOURNAMENT NOTES
MID-FIRST ROUND, MARCH 8, 2012
Teams directed by first-year coaches were on the mark in both afternoon games, winning for Maryland's Mark Turgeon and NC State's Mark Gottfried. First-year coaches Steve Donahue of Boston College and Brad Brownell of Clemson won in their ACC Tournament debuts in 2011.
Maryland's 22-point margin of victory against Wake Forest was its largest in an ACC Tournament game since defeating Florida State by 26, 85-59, in the 2002 quarterfinals.
Terrell Stoglin's 25 points against Wake were the most by a Maryland player in an ACC Tournament since John Gilchrist had 26 and Jamar Smith had 25 as the Terrapins beat Duke to win the 2004 championship.
Top seed North Carolina and No.8 Maryland will meet in tomorrow's first quarterfinal. The Tar Heels won both of the teams' previous meetings this season. In third games against an opponent during the post-round robin era, UNC is 4-0 in the ACC Tournament.
The eighth seed has won twice against the No. 1 seed - Maryland upset NC State in 1989 at The Omni and NC State beat Duke in Greensboro in 1997.
NC State is 12-2 against Virginia in the ACC Tournament. Their two most recent games came in the 2007 and 2002 quarterfinals. The Wolfpack won both times and ultimately advanced to the championship contest. UVa last beat NC State in the 1986 quarterfinals.
NC State and Virginia, opponents in tomorrow's second quarterfinal, met once previously in 2012. The Cavaliers won at Raleigh, 61-60. Guard Lorenzo Brown's 3-point try from the right wing missed at the buzzer after UVa big man Akil Mitchell forced him to go wide rather than penetrate. "My heart aches for my guys," Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said afterward. The Pack's Richard Howell had 18 rebounds in that game, a career high. His total tied UNC's Tyler Zeller for second-most in the ACC this season, after the 22 by Duke's Miles Plumlee against Maryland.
Wake Forest's 84-62 loss to Maryland was its largest margin of defeat in an ACC Tournament game since 1989. That year the Demon Deacons lost to Duke by 24 points, 88-64, in a quarterfinal at The Omni in Atlanta.
Wake has lost six straight ACC Tournament games. That ties it with Duke (1972-77) for the eighth-longest run of defeats in the history of the event. The school record is seven straight losses from 1987 through 1993.