No. 18 NC State Wolfpack Falls To Wake Forest, 86-84

Freshmen Rodney Purvis, with 18 points, and T.J. Warren, with 14, led the way in scoring, while both Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown had double-doubles and both surpassed the 1,000-point career scoring milestone. The Pack (15-4, 4-2) returns home on Saturday to face North Carolina at PNC Arena.

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC Jan. 22, 2013 – Fighting through foul trouble all night, NC State’s No. 18 men’s basketball team fell to Wake Forest on Tuesday, 86-84, at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum.

Richard Howell, T.J. Warren, Devin Thomas

The Wolfpack (15-4 overall, 4-2 ACC) built a comfortable 47-35 lead at the half and led by as many as 16 points just before intermission. But the Demon Deacons (10-8, 3-3) stormed back with 51 points in the second half, led by Devin Thomas’ 25 points and 14 rebounds.

For the Wolfpack, freshmen Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren led the way, with Purvis scoring 18 points and Warren adding 14.

Both senior Richard Howell and junior Lorenzo Brown posted double-doubles in the game and surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for their careers, becoming the 47th and 48thplayers in school history to reach that scoring mark.

Howell had 13 points and 16 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season before fouling out in the waning moments of the game. He now has 24 double-dips in his career, the most since center Todd Fuller had 39 from 1993-96.

Brown had 13 points and 10 assists for his fourth double-double of the season and his third in the Pack’s last five games.

Along with senior Scott Wood and junior C.J. Leslie, who reached the milestone earlier, this is the first team in school history and only the ninth in the history of the ACC to have four 1,000-point scorers on the roster at one time.

Leslie also finished with 13 points in the game, but played only 18 minutes after picking up two early fouls in the first half and two more on back-to-back possessions in the second half.

With Leslie on the bench, the Deacons scored three straight baskets by three different players to take a 68-64 lead with nine minutes to play. McKie tied the score with a dunk, Thomas gave the Deacs their first lead since 2-0 on a fastbreak layup and Codi Miller-McIntyre followed with a fallaway jumper from 13 feet.

Howell stopped the scoring run and then Brown made a heads-up defensive play to give the ball back to the Wolfpack with 7:50 remaining in the game.

But the Deacons built as much as a 10-point lead until the Wolfpack scored nine unanswered points in the final two minutes.

After Leslie missed a pair of free throws, Wood missed an open 3-pointer that would have given the Pack the lead. However, it bounced off the back of the rim and Wake Forest got the rebound.

The Wolfpack struggled from both the field and the free throw line in the final five minutes of the game, but Wake Forest shot a sizzling 59.4 percent in the second half.

“I thought the difference in the game was our inability to guard anyone in the second half,” said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. “We just didn’t defend.

“For the most part, I thought we were good defensively in the first half. It was a tale of two halves. I don’t know if we got cautious because of being in foul trouble, but we couldn’t contain the ball off the dribble, we switched when we didn’t need to and we started making bad decisions defensively. We have to be better than that and we have to have a lot more poise than that.”

Howell fouled out and Leslie, Wood and Brown all finished the game with four fouls.

“More than anything, probably what we needed to do was play through the foul trouble and we didn’t do that,” Gottfried said. “You have to overcome obstacles like that. You have to figure out a way to overcome it.”

The Wolfpack will have four days to regroup before it hosts North Carolina on Saturday at 7 p.m. at PNC Arena. State will also host ESPN’s GameDay throughout the day on Saturday, with doors to the arena opening at 8:30 a.m. for students and fans.

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