Had to throw this up this morning because Ralston Turner definitely deserves it!
With 23 points from Turner, who started for injured T.J. Warren, that’s just what the Wolfpack got at PNC Arena, a 65-56 decision over the Terrapins.
Turner made five 3-pointers, all during the second half, to lift the Wolfpack (12-7, 2-4) to its second win against Maryland since 2006. The Terps, who are leaving for the Big Ten in June, got a going-away present – complete with some N.C. State fans chanting “ACC! ACC!” as they exited the court – on Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried’s 50th birthday.
“Our guys were determined, they were absolutely determined not to lay down,” Gottfried said. “It was a great win for our group.”
Warren, who averages an ACC-best 22.2 points per game, injured an ankle late in Saturday’s loss to Duke, Gottfried said. He was unable to practice Sunday and was gimpy in the shoot-around Monday afternoon. Without Warren, the Pack relied on Turner, who made a pair of 3-pointers – the second at 8 minutes, 50 seconds in the second half – to put the Wolfpack ahead for good.
Turner also scored eight straight points after Maryland (11-8, 3-3) had cut N.C. State’s lead to 54-53 with a putback by sophomore forward Charles Mitchell, who finished with 18 rebounds.
Turner has been ON FIRE over the last few weeks – hitting almost 50% of his three point attempts over the last few weeks. Despite his shooting prowess, Turner’s playing time has been limited by sloppy play that has been marred by lackadaisical turnovers and generally awful defense. Not last night!
1. ANTHONY and Tyler had ZERO turnovers…
2. Dez LEE played great defense
3. Turner hit some three pointers…
Our BIGS…. Vandenberg, Anya, Freeman played forty minutes of fearless ball under the basket….
AND with fewer options to choose from….
Our Coaches didn’t get creative or boneheaded and try something risky with the game coming down to the wire.
We finished the game at 40% shooting after 20% in the first half… but even in the first half we were doing all the right things most of time — the shots just weren’t falling. Contrast that with the last several games where we weren’t doing anything right and it didn’t matter whether the shots were failing or not.
Overall…. except for that dead spot from 15 -8 minutes in the first… we played the most consistent Team ball on both ends we have played this season.
Now… don’t go buy your Eastern Regional tickets just quite yet… the kids are young and they are going to suck again more than a few times before this season is over. But they will NEVER FORGET how it felt to walk off the court tonight AS THE WINNING TEAM (not the same thing as a bunch of guys who scored more points than the other bunch of guys) AND they will use that as they continue to improve.
There were a lot of TV shots of Cuz sitting over there on the bench in his street clothes. When the rest of the bench was jumping up and cheering, Cuz just sat there and smiled a little…. For us to be the best TEAM we can be… Cuz needs to be a leader…. I’m sorry I didn’t see more of that tonight.
If it takes two or three games for his ankle to heal 100%… he should use the time to work on his leadership skills. Some of us haven’t forgotten some of the things that went on last season and Cuz knows what I am talking about.
Now that we have done this ONE TIME…. what we have GOTT to figure out how to do this night after night and with Cuz on floor too.
Tonight against the TWERPS was nothing more and nothing less than one big step in the right direction.
God Bless you Lefty — where ever you are.