Wednesday, February 20, 2008

N.C. doesn't match opponents' intensity

North Carolina guard Wayne Ellington stopped short of saying N.C. State quit.

But Ellington did say the Wolfpack didn’t get back on defense as quickly after North Carolina’s lead widened to double digits in the second half of an 84-70 win at the RBC Center.

“It seemed like they got a little bit tired,” Ellington said. “We were attacking the basket, and it was wide open for us.”

That much was obvious. Marcus Ginyard’s drive for a dunk late in the second half was as poorly defended a play as there’s been in the ACC all season.

Freshman center J.J. Hickson said N.C. State doesn’t respond well to adversity.

“When this team is down, we break down mentally and physically, and it’s hard to (win) like that,” he said.

Coach Sidney Lowe has noticed a pattern during N.C. State’s current, four-game losing streak. The Wolfpack grabs an early lead but is unable to raise its level of play when an opponent gets desperate.

“It’s not whether you get down,” Lowe said. “It’s whether you get back up. And we’re not getting up.” – Ken Tysiac