ACC Basketball: N.C. State wasn't mentally into game on Saturday
Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2012
RALEIGH — C.J. Leslie says North Carolina State wasn’t mentally there against No. 20 Florida State. By the end of it, former Wolfpack stars Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani weren’t there physically, either.
The Seminoles beat N.C. State 76-62 on Saturday in a game perhaps most memorable for the bizarre mid-game ejections of two of the school’s best players from the 1980s and ‘90s.
It marked the midpoint of a brutal stretch for N.C. State, which in a six-day span was playing all three teams that shared the ACC lead. The Wolfpack host the Tar Heels on Tuesday.
“We have to accept the fact that if you want to play in the greatest show on Earth, then you better toughen up and you better man up, pal,” Gottfried said. “There is no other way to look at it. Teams that get to play in March are mentally tough enough to withstand most things, and they fight their way through it. … We’re not there, and we’ve got to get there.”
Leslie scored 21 points to lead N.C. State (18-9, 7-5 ACC), but the rest of the team combined to shoot 9 of 44 in their second straight loss with both coming to nationally ranked teams. Fewer than 48 hours earlier, N.C. State blew a 20-point lead in a loss at No. 5 Duke.
“As a team, we didn’t come. We weren’t mentally there,” Leslie said. “That’s very important that, as a team, we be on the same page. We all weren’t on the same page, and we didn’t come out and act like we wanted to win this game.”
Florida State (19-7, 10-2), improved to 4-0 against North Carolina’s Tobacco Road programs and beat all four in the same season for the first time. The Seminoles will go for the sweep next Thursday when No. 5 Duke makes a return trip to Tallahassee.
“We’re not from Tobacco Road where everyone pays attention to basketball,” Snaer said. “There’s an added emotion. You’re up here, and you want to win every single game. All of the North Carolina teams are very strong, so talented, and we want to take the challenge.”
Florida State won its third straight and remain atop the league standings.
The Seminoles, who haven’t lost in Raleigh since 2006, have their defense largely to thank for their latest win here.