St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com
Back
Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

College basketball

ACC: Wolfpack performance clearly not Hodgepodge

Finely tuned N.C. State surprises Wake Forest behind Julius Hodge.

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 16, 2003


GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If North Carolina State were to enhance its postseason resume on Saturday, coach Herb Sendek knew it would not hinge on his game plan or any inspirational speeches.

"At this time of the year, your best players have to be at their best," he said.

His were.

Sophomore forward Julius Hodge scored a career-high 31 and junior forward Marcus Melvin added 23, with 35 of their total coming in the torrid-shooting second half, as the Wolfpack upset top-seeded Wake Forest 87-83 in the ACC semifinals before an announced 23,745 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

"They were nothing short of sensational," Sendek said.

With the win, the No. 4-seeded Wolfpack (18-11) advanced to the final for the second straight year and, just as important, provided an attention-grabbing performance for the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

Coach Skip Prosser's Demon Deacons (24-5), the regular-season league champs, had won seven straight and climbed to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll. They had a shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament had they continued to roll in the first all-North Carolina ACC semifinals in four decades.

But his best player was not at his best.

Senior forward Josh Howard, the league's most dominating player, had a double double, 21 points and 12 rebounds, but was 6-of-21 from the field.

"I just didn't hit the open shots that I had previously," he said. "It happens."

The long-armed and dizzyingly quick Hodge, as well as his swarming teammates, especially senior guard Clifford Crawford, deserve credit for containing Howard.

Yet Hodge and company turned the game around with offense, not defense, at the start of the second half. For the last 12 minutes of the opening half, the Wolfpack managed to make 3 of 15 shots and trailed 37-33.

"We just wanted to run our offense," Hodge said. "We know we're not going to make every shot, but as the game progresses, we want to start making tough shots and in the second half, we did that."

Melvin opened with a 3-pointer, then guard Scooter Sherrill followed with a 3-pointer and moments later, Hodge hit a line-drive 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Wolfpack a 44-39 lead.

The Wolfpack shot 62.5 percent from the field after intermission, including 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. Melvin sealed it by converting 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute.

Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
 

From the Times sports desk
  • Gary Shelton: You're invited
  • Hubert Mizell: Underachievers should note Bob Knight's gesture

    NFL

  • NFL Europe copes with possible war
  • Jags defense gets a lift with Douglas
  • Rant...
  • Baseball
  • A's prepared to let Tejada walk
  • Pals try to cheer McGraw
    College football
  • The Florida four
  • NHL
  • Slapshots: Think before you speak
  • Hull into top five; Wings win
    College basketball
  • Central Florida loses in Atlantic Sun final
  • Big East: Third time isthe charm for PittsburghPAC-10: Ducks win first championshipC-USA: MVP Whitehead carries LouisvilleSEC: Wildcats give Tigersbad case of the bluesSEC: Mississippi State douses LSU's fireBig 12: Missouri's motivation outlasts KUBig Ten: Freshman's lone point lifts OSUACC: Wolfpack performance clearly not HodgepodgeACC: Duke makes easy work of Tar Heels
    Horses
  • Empire Maker stakes claim as Derby factor
  • Kentucky's a long way off for Tampa Bay contender
    In brief
  • Construction delays hurt Pan-Am Games
  • Storm
  • Orlando's backup QB brings title experience
  • NBA
  • McGrady's 34 helpstop hot Hornets
  • Motorsports
  • Experimental car has green power
  • Kalitta gets third straight top spotEx-NBA player a big man on trackTeam Joest wins Sebring
    Golf
  • Love takes Honda Classic lead
  • Preps
  • A few runs will do for Lions
  • A leader, teacher, championCougar's desire overcomes all
    Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Urban fishing ponds face budget cutbacks
  • Your turn

  • Rays
  • Mom's extravagance paid off in full
  • Piniella wants losing to sting
  • LaMar is eager to deal

  • Bucs
  • King plans to return as Buc backup
  • QBs learn system in classroom

  • Lightning
  • Playoffs get nearer after rally
  • Extra fun on return home


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts