Night Court: N.C. State drops a bad one on its home floor

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Georges Niang had 19 points, eights assist and five boards in ISU's win in Provo. (USATSI)
Georges Niang had 19 points, eights assist and five boards in ISU's win in Provo. (USATSI)

Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Wednesday night …

Game of the Night: Iowa State just hangs on to beat BYU on the road for a big, big W.

Oh, Daniel Edozie! Who? A JUCO-transfer junior forward blocked Tyler Haws' potential game-winning shot with four seconds remaining, the score 89-88 in favor of ISU. Edozie hit one freebie, BYU's Kyle Collinsworth couldn't sink the game-tying shot, and so now Iowa State is 4-0 and has wins over Michigan and BYU.

Fred Hoiberg is a good-looking dude -- but a bad man. ISU is looking Sweet 16-caliber, at minimum, right now. BYU's going to be an entertaining, good team this year. Winning in Provo is very tough. And for Iowa State, this one's massive. Yes, a November win is massive. Not only because winning at BYU is a tall task, but also because ISU was 7-11 away from home last season. It wasn't a putrid road team, but it wasn't an inspiring one either.

So for the Cyclones to win after DeAndre Kane was ejected (poking Eric Mika in the eye) and Melvin Ejim fouled out (then flipped the bird at BYU fans) with 1:42 to go, it's a big statement. Ejim and Kane combo'd for 42 points. A lot of teams would have (and have) folded in that altitude and environ. Iowa State firmly seems like it's the No. 3 in the Big 12 right now -- and there's certainly room to make the case they'll fight with Kansas and Oklahoma State for the league crown. But that's for further down the road.

For now, Cyclones fans have to feel great. Some wondered if the group would be NCAA touranment-able this year. Have to believe that now. The bar has been set; no going back.

As for BYU, Tyler Haws was limited to nine second-half points. Six came from the foul line. Big, because Haws wil probably end the year averaging around 25/game, so it tells you a little about ISU's D. Haws did return after missing two games due to an abdominal strain, for the record.

That's a good win: Could Dayton be an NCAA tourney team this year?

Brian Gregory used to coach at Dayton. Then he took the Georgia Tech job. His former team beat his current team Wednesday night, the Flyers knocking off the Bumble Bees, 72-62. Archie Miller's Dayton team is now 4-0. Georgia Tech lost its first game of the season. Not a bad loss for Tech, but certainly a good one for the Flyers, who were expected by many to be improved and moving closer to getting their first NCAA bid under Miller this year. I can't say that'll for sure happen, but these kind of wins help A-10 teams down the road.

But that's a bad loss: Oh, N.C. State did not look nice in this one, dropping a home tilt to North Carolina Central University. It very nearly got bailed out when freshman walk-on Patrick Wallace hit a 3 with 2.7 to go to tie the game, which then went to overtime.

I don't have the stats on this, but my guess is that home teams from major conferences playing against schools from middling leagues (in this case, the ACC vs. the MEAC) have to win such scenarios 90 percent of the time, at least. Especially when the game goes to OT.

But instead of folding, NC Central earned its biggest lead of the game -- nine points -- with 1:40 to go in overtime. Big-time response, which helped Central in part due to the fact T.J. Warren fouled out late in the second half for N.C. State. Hard to see how N.C. State will play its way to an NCAA tournament bid this year. Seems a rebuilding season for Mark Gottfried's crew.

Also: NC Central managed 45 free throws on the road. Very useful. Even more so? Team sunk 41 of those. Awesome win. Check the "Numbers to figure" below.

Players with impact

  1. Alec Peters. How about this one? So Valpo lost 100-92 to Evansville tonight. Peters plays for Valpo. But dedicated blog readers will recognize that we wrote off Peters earlier on Wednesday. His hometown was hit by the deadly tornadoes in Illinois over the weekend. He went home to see the damage. He returned to school and dedicated his performance to those affected. Peters, a freshman, wound up with 30 points off seven 3 balls. Inspired outing, even if it came in a loss on the road. No doubt it's been an emotional past 80 hours or so for him.
  2. Talib Zanna went for 23 points and 14 boards for Pittsburgh. Read on below about how the Panthers did.
  3. QJ Peterson had the high in points for the night, dialing up 38 for VMI in the team's 112-86 win over non-DI Bridgewater.
  4. Senior Dylon Cormier scored the most Wednesday night against D-I competition, putting up 34 in overtime in Loyola of Maryland's 89-83 win at UMBC.

Numbers to figure:

1: The number of wins NC Central has won against the ACC. That game came tonight.

.287: The MEAC's all-time win percentage against the ACC. Not good, but better than the .240 it was heading into Wednesday night, thanks to NC Central.

61: Jack Taylor scored three points tonight and made no field goals. He's now averaging 61 PPG on the year. If you haven't yet, do read Gregg Doyel on Grinnell. Taylor took to Twitter afterward for some trash talk. His team won 88-79.

Other outcomes of note:

  • Baylor had more trouble at home against Charleston Southern than Bears' fans would've liked to see. The final was 69-64 .
  • Wichita State went on the road to play Tulsa, which was winless entering the night ... and remained that way. A 77-54 win for Gregg Marshall's Shockers.
  • Pittsburgh had absolutely no trouble with Lehigh, the Panthers knocking off in-state Mountain Hawks 77-58.
  • American had no problem keeping it at a slow pace, but Ohio State got out with a 63-52 home win.
  • New Mexico State and Northern Colorado played one of the closest games of the night, NMSU getting out 67-63.

Notebook:

-- Coming into the evening, Jacksonville State, Abilene Christian and Tennessee State were the only 0-5 teams in the country. Now two more are in that club, with Cornell and Mount St. Mary's falling Wednesday night.

-- Though he couldn't attend, President Obama honored Hall of Fame UNC coach Dean Smith with the Medal of Freedom on Wednesday.

-- The Austin Hatch story continues to be moving, inspiring, and something you'll read about plenty in the coming years.

 
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