Barber, NC State control 2nd half to beat No. 15 Miami 85-69
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried wanted more. His Wolfpack gave it to him Saturday: a performance marked by energy, fight and toughness on the boards.
It was good enough to give N.C. State a confidence-boosting upset of No. 15 Miami, too.
Anthony ''Cat'' Barber scored 30 points to help the Wolfpack beat the Hurricanes 85-69, ending a three-game skid while earning the program's first home win in 2016.
This was what Gottfried had hoped to see after Wednesday's 90-83 loss to Georgia Tech, a performance that had the fuming fifth-year coach criticizing what he described as a lack of effort in the first half as well as some players individually for failing to hit the boards.
After a couple of intense practices, the Wolfpack (12-10, 2-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated the glass, repeatedly got to the foul line and shot 51 percent in a confident performance against the Hurricanes (16-4, 5-3).
''I liked our enthusiasm, I liked our energy level,'' Gottfried said. ''I liked our energy and enthusiasm in practice the last few days, and it carried over for us into the game.''
N.C. State set the tone from the first possession, grabbing three offensive rebounds before Barber hit a jumper at the 18:41 mark. The Wolfpack led 37-32 at the break and throughout the second half before a final flurry turned it into a lopsided result.
''I feel like if we play like that throughout the rest of the year, we can win more games,'' Barber said.
Sheldon McClellan scored 18 points for Miami, which cut a 10-point second-half deficit to 64-59 with about 4 1/2 minutes left. But the Wolfpack scored on seven straight possessions to stretch the lead back out.
The Hurricanes had plenty of momentum coming in after beating Duke on Monday night. And they had a chance to move into a tie for second in the ACC with No. 16 Louisville after the Cardinals' home loss to No. 11 Virginia earlier Saturday.
But they shot just 37 percent after the break and hung in it only by getting to the foul line, something they failed to do at all before halftime. But overall, the Hurricanes settled for jumpers (26 3-point tries on 58 shots) while the Wolfpack finished with a 41-23 rebounding advantage.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga called it ''just a very bad day at the office.''
''They were able to do what they wanted to do,'' Larranaga said, ''and we didn't show much resistance.''
Miami: Angel Rodriguez had 15 points and six assists. ... Davon Reed had 12 points. ... The Hurricanes made 15 of 16 free throws, all after halftime. ... The Hurricanes made 2 of 12 3-pointers after halftime.
N.C. State: Caleb Martin added 13 points. ... N.C. State shot 58 percent in the second half and made 26 of 31 free throws for the game. ... This was N.C. State's first home win since beating Northeastern on Dec. 29.
PACK OF REBOUNDERS
Abdul-Malik Abu, who had 19 points, was one of four players to grab at least seven rebounds for the Wolfpack, who held a 10-4 edge on the offensive glass.
''They just played with so much energy, and we didn't match it up,'' Miami big man Tonye Jekiri said.
Barber, the ACC's leading scorer at 22.8 points per game, made 10 of 18 shots and all 10 of his free throws. He also drew three charges in the second half and picked up four fouls on Rodriguez while playing all 40 minutes.
All that came three days after he scored 36 points in the Georgia Tech loss.
Larranaga was asked what he would tell his players heading into Miami's next game.
''We need to play a whole lot harder and a whole lot better,'' the coach responded.
Miami hosts No. 25 Notre Dame on Wednesday.
N.C. State travels to Florida State on Wednesday.
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