ACC Basketball: Stanford 76, N.C. State 72
STANFORD, Calif. ó The season is barely a month old and Stanford already is showing it could be one of the surprises in the expanded Pac-12 Conference.
Josh Owens scored 19 points and Chasson Randle had 16 to rally Stanford from a dozen down in the second half for a 76-72 victory over North Carolina State on Sunday.
After a win over Oklahoma State and a strong performance in a loss against Syracuse at Madison Square Garden, the Cardinal could even find themselves in the rankings again soon.
ěFor what we want to do looking at long-term goals toward the end of the season, this was one of those games where you need to punch your ticket,î said Owens, who also grabbed seven rebounds. ěThis was an opportunity for us to get a win that we needed for the end of the season.î
Stanfordís duo made it count.
The pair led a 16-1 run in the final six minutes that pushed the Cardinal (8-1) ahead for the first and only time. Owens had 10 points during the critical stretch and Randle made four free throws to keep Stanford perfect at home this season.
Fourth-year Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins called the win one of the best in nonconference play at Maples Pavilion in his tenure for the heart and hustle his players showed late.
ěIt says a lot about this group, how they responded. I thought they had the will to win and they made the plays necessary,î Dawkins said. ěYou never know until youíre in that kind of situation how your guys would respond being down by double digits. Being down by double digits in the second half and seeing the kids respond that way, it makes you feel proud.î
Not so much for the visitors.
C.J. Williams had 18 points and C.J. Leslie scored 14 to help the Wolfpack (5-3) build leads of 11 and 12 in each half only to see both disappear. Leslie was limited by a leg cramp in the second half, and his team struggled in his absence.
North Carolina State has not beaten a Pac-12 opponent ó formerly called the Pac-10 Conference ó on the road in almost 18 years.
ěThis was absolutely a missed opportunity,î Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. ěThis team has to learn how to finish, and we have to get tougher. Itís real simple.î