Marist 62

(25-9, 14-4 MAAC)

NC State 69

(20-15, 5-11 ACC)

10:30 PM ET, March 16, 2007

1 2 T
MRST 19 4362
NCST 33 3669

Top Performers

Marist: W. Whittington 18 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 6 Stl

NC State: B. McCauley 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

NC State outplays Marist, advances in NIT 

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Lowe buttoned up his bright red jacket and roamed the sideline at rowdy Reynolds Coliseum, all the while evoking memories of his coach a generation ago at North Carolina State.

At times Friday night, it felt like 1983 again.

"It's this building. It's where it all happened (as a player)," Lowe said.

Ben McCauley scored 19 points and the Wolfpack continued their exhausting, exhilarating postseason run with a 69-62 victory over Marist on Friday night in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Dennis Horner and Gavin Grant added 13 points apiece for N.C. State (20-15), which played its sixth game in nine days and improved to 5-1 in that span.

The weary Wolfpack fed off a raucous sellout crowd in a rare game at Reynolds, their venerable former home where Lowe played point guard on the Jim Valvano-led team that won the 1983 national title.

"It's Reynolds. It's the people," Lowe said. "If you can't get excited to play here, you don't need to play this game."

This time, Lowe again donned the stoplight-red jacket as a tribute to his coach, then showed there still was some magic left in it -- and also in the building the coach called "the Red Barn." Lowe improved to 5-2 in the red coat.

"The pre-game speech, he doesn't have the coat on, and sure enough, when he gets up to the big stage, he's got it on," McCauley said. "It's pretty special, I think. He loves his school so much, to wear a red jacket like that, it shows he's all about N.C. State."

Now it's on to a quarterfinal rematch with West Virginia in Morgantown. The Mountaineers beat N.C. State 71-60 three months ago in Charleston, W.Va.

"They shoot the 3-pointer like it's going out of style," McCauley said.

Engin Atsur had 12 points and Brandon Costner added 10 before fouling out with 1:43 left for N.C. State, which led by double figures for most of the way.

Marist pulled to 49-43 on Ryan Stilphen's layup with 5:31 to play, before the Wolfpack pulled away with an 11-4 run. The Red Foxes couldn't get closer than seven after that.

Will Whittington scored 18 points to lead Marist (25-9), the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season champion. The Red Foxes couldn't follow their win at Oklahoma State with a victory in another noisy environment.

"That certainly impacts the game, no doubt about it," Marist coach Matt Brady said. "I thought we played through it and played hard."

N.C. State began its improbable postseason run in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, winning three games in three days -- with Lowe wearing his new coat for each game -- before losing to North Carolina in the title game. Two days later, they won at Drexel without the jacket.

This time, the Wolfpack took command midway through the first half, closing it with a 29-7 run and holding Marist to two field goals during the final 17 minutes. The Red Foxes missed 17 of their last 19 shots before halftime.

"We shoot a lot of 3s, and we didn't shoot well tonight," Brady said. "That's going to happen. But I told our team we're going to go down swinging. That's how we play."

Jared Jordan had 11 points, and James Smith and Wilfred Benjamin added 10 apiece for Marist.

The Wolfpack, who typically play one "Heritage Game" per season at Reynolds Coliseum, returned to their one-time home because their regular arena, the RBC Center, was booked for a concert and the women's NCAA tournament.

They haven't lost at Reynolds since Princeton won in the second round of the NIT in 1999, the year before they moved to their new venue.

Marist fell to a combined 1-4 in the NIT and the NCAA tournament, and is 0-6 against the ACC.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 62 69
FG Made-Attempted 19-63 (.302) 22-42 (.524)
3P Made-Attempted 9-32 (.281) 1-13 (.077)
FT Made-Attempted 15-21 (.714) 24-33 (.727)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 7 17


» Mar 16, 2007 @NCST 69, MRST 62Recap