N.C. State-UNC notebook
By Bret Strelow
RALEIGH — N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe said little about his clothing choice.
The coat’s color made a loud statement for him.
Lowe took the floor wearing a red blazer, and the Wolfpack earned an 83-79 upset of third-ranked North Carolina at the RBC Center on Saturday.
Lowe normally sports dark, pinstriped suits but made a switch leading up to the home game against N.C. State’s biggest rival.
“It was no coincidence,” he said. “It was just time. It was time. I hadn’t worn it before. I had to wear it one time, at least.”
Lowe, the starting point guard on N.C. State’s national championship team in 1983, joined Les Robinson, Press Maravich, Everett Case and Leroy Jay as the only Wolfpack head coaches to beat UNC on their first try.
Freshman forward Brandon Costner said he didn’t like Lowe’s new coat — “I kind of looked at him funny,” Costner said — but it received teammate Gavin Grant’s approval.
“I loved it,” Grant said. “I was waiting for him to pull out the red, but it was right on time.”
WISH GRANTED: Grant committed eight turnovers but made two important transition baskets.
UNC trailed by as many as nine points in the first half but tied the game 5.7 seconds before the break.
Grant raced the length of the court for an uncontested layup at the buzzer, and UNC coach Roy Williams stormed to the locker room in disgust.
The Wolfpack led 60-53 when Costner came up with a steal and found Grant ahead of the pack.
Grant threw down a reverse, windmill dunk.
“I think that might have got me cramping,” he said. “That’s my dunk that I do if I’m alone on the break.”
TECHNICAL TALK: A jumper by Courtney Fells gave N.C. State its biggest lead at 71-60 with 6:40 left. That possession followed two technical free throws by Engin Atsur.
The technical came after UNC forward Tyler Hansbrough missed an inside shot.
Costner secured the rebound, and Hansbrough took a swing with his right arm. Williams said Hansbrough wasn’t trying to punch Costner.
“I know the young man, and I know there was no intent there,” Williams said. “I saw it, and I thought he was trying to rake and get back the basketball. But the referee called what he thought he saw, and that’s the way you’ve got to live with it.”
MILLER TIME: A lineup of Hansbrough, Brandan Wright, Marcus Ginyard, Wes Miller and Bobby Frasor did most of the work during an 11-2 run that cut into North Carolina’s 11-point deficit.
A steal by Miller led to a layup for Hansbrough, and Hansbrough turned a steal into a fastbreak dunk to pull UNC within 73-71 with 3:44 left.
The Tar Heels cut their deficit to two points on two more occasions. Hope ran out for UNC after Wright missed an inside shot with 32 seconds left and N.C. State holding an 81-77 lead.
Miller and Frasor entered the game with 6:34 left. Miller, a senior, didn’t depart until 47 seconds remained.
“It’s a little bit of leadership and a little bit of thought that he might get open and make a 3,” Williams said. “And then he is good defensively on the ball.”
Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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