GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ralston Turner gave North Carolina State the reliable second scoring option it needed to advance in the ACC tournament.
Now Turner and league player of the year T.J. Warren will get another shot at a marquee win to help the Wolfpack's NCAA Tournament chances.
Turner scored 16 of his 22 in the second half to help N.C. State beat Miami 67-58 in Thursday night's second round, earning another shot at No. 11 Syracuse in today's quarterfinals in a rematch of a game the Wolfpack lost in a controversial finish last month.
"It's not about payback," coach Mark Gottfried said. "It's about opportunity. And we've got an opportunity that is golden. Couldn't ask for a better one."
Warren finished with 24 points for the Wolfpack (20-12), which trailed 53-51 with four minutes left the went on a 12-0 run.
Warren, coming off consecutive 40-point games, finished near his ACC-best scoring average of 24.8 — though the Hurricanes (17-16) made him work.
Meanwhile, Turner seized his chance to help Warren carry the load for the Wolfpack. He went 7-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 on 3-pointers, finishing one shy of tying his career high for scoring.
"When you have a great scorer on your team, he has a tendency to take pressure off the rest of the people," Turner said. "That gives you an opportunity to try to be aggressive and look for opportunities to help the team."
Outside of Warren and Turner, the Wolfpack managed 21 points on 8-for-23 shooting. But that was good enough against the Hurricanes, who committed 15 turnovers that the Wolfpack converted into 26 points.
"Our intentions were to try to keep their best two players from hurting us," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "We played a triangle-and-two the whole second half and they still ended up with 24 and 22, so their offense was better than our defense. And our offense gave them a lot of opportunities to score in transition."
Warren hit the go-ahead shot during the 12-0 run at the 2:23 mark, then Turner hit a tough 3-pointer over Rion Brown that gave the Wolfpack a 58-53 lead with 1:42 left.
Pitt 84, Wake Forest 55: Lamar Patterson scored 24 and Talib Zanna added 17 to help the Panthers (24-8) win their ACC tournament debut. They never trailed, shot 50 percent and had a 38-30 rebounding advantage while giving Wake Forest one of the most lopsided ACC tournament losses in school history.
Pitt matched a school record for its most lopsided win in a league tournament — it beat Rhode Island by 29 in the 1981 Eastern 8 tournament, the forerunner of the Atlantic 10.
"We're playing our best basketball," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon said.
"We just couldn't stop them," Wake coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "And the inability to make some shots and to score, we just lost some confidence. We've been fragile with that throughout the course of the year at times (and) you got the score you got."
The only drama in the second half was whether Wake Forest would wind up with its worst-ever conference tournament loss — a distinction that still belongs to the 1966 team that lost its opener by 30 to Duke.
ACC tournament | Greensboro, N.C.
|First round||Second round||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||Final||Semifinals||Quarterfinals||Second round||First round|
|8 Maryland 65||7 N.C. State 67|
|9 Florida State||7 N.C. State||10 Miami 57|
|9 Florida State 67||noon today, ESPN2||7 tonight, ESPN||10 Miami 58|
|1 Virginia||2 Syracuse||15 Virginia Tech 53|
|5 Pittsburgh 84||1 Saturday, Ch. 44, ESPN||1 Sun., Ch. 44, ESPN||3:30 Saturday, Ch. 44, ESPN||6 Clemson 69|
|12 Wake Forest 81||6 Clemson||11 Georgia Tech 73|
|12 Wake Forest 55||2:30 today, ESPN2||9:30 tonight, ESPN||11 Ga. Tech 65 OT|
|13 Notre Dame 69||4 North Carolina||3 Duke||14 Boston Coll. 70 OT|