Monday, January 10, 2011

Wolfpack hits the road looking for wins

N.C. State has won six ACC road games in the past four years. Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe hopes his fifth team can improve its road record this week with trips to Boston College (Tuesday) and Florida State (Saturday).

State's winless in two true road games this season, at Wisconsin and at Syracuse with a win over Elon at the Greensboro Coliseum, which counts as a road win.

"Hopefully we got a taste of it, being at Wisconsin and Syracuse," Lowe said Monday. "Hopefully we'll be able to handle it."

State won ACC games at FSU and Miami last season. The Wolfpack, 1-0 in the ACC, has some momentum heading into Tuesday's game at BC. State has won five straight and posted two of its best performances of the season in handling Elon 87-72 and Wake Forest 90-69 last week.

Boston College (12-4, 2-0 ACC) has been the surprise of the ACC under first-year coach Steve Donahue. The Eagles have already beaten Maryland and Georgia Tech in the league and own impressive nonconference wins over Texas A&M and South Carolina. They also have a pair of home losses to Ivy League teams (Yale, Harvard).

Lowe expects the "good" BC to show up for Tuesday's 9 p.m. game at Conte Forum.

"They're a very good team, they have great experience," Lowe said. "[Reggie] Jackson and [Joe] Trapani have been around. Jackson has played as well as anyone in the conference."

Jackson and Trapani are two of seven scholarship players Donahue inherited from former coach Al Skinner. His up-tempo, 3-point system has been a boon to Jackson (18.9 ppg) and senior guard Biko Paris (11.1).

State beat BC 66-54 in Raleigh last March, one of the games that led to Skinner's ouster. This is the only regular-season meeting between the two teams and an important one for State.

At No. 40 in the RPI, BC is one of four ACC teams ranked in the top 50. State's 0-4 against top 50 teams this season.

Note: The threat of snow/ice in Raleigh pushed up the team's departure time from Raleigh by about three hours, Lowe said. The team hopes to beat the weather to Boston for Tuesday's game.

-- J.P. Giglio