RALEIGH, N.C. - Ralston Turner scored 19 of his career-high 23 points in the second half to propel the NC State men's basketball team to a 65-56 victory over the Maryland Terrapins on Monday night at PNC Arena. The Wolfpack improves to 12-7 overall (2-4 ACC), while Maryland falls to 11-8 (3-3).
Turner, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time in 14 games, connected on all five of his three-point baskets in a second half that saw State outscore Maryland, 45-27. Desmond Lee scored 14 points on the night, while Anthony 'Cat' Barber added 13 points. Kyle Washington pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with six points for the Pack.
T.J. Warren, the ACC's leading scorer at 22.2 points per game, sat out Monday's tilt versus Maryland due to a sprained left ankle sustained at the end of the Wolfpack's game on Saturday versus No. 23 Duke.
"I'm really proud of our team," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "I thought our team showed a lot of courage and mental toughness. We stepped up in the second half. We played with tremendous desire and I’m really proud of our guys for that. Ralston Turner got going offensively and made some big shots. Desmond Lee is a phenomenal player. He took two charges and he deserves a lot of credit. Anthony 'Cat' Barber made some nice plays. All of our guys played well. The big guys stepped up inside and got some key rebounds for us. We went down 11 in the second half and our guys were determined not to lie down. It’s a great win for our group.”
After trailing for much of the first half, State embarked on an 8-0 run at the start of the second half to cut the Terrapin advantage to 31-28. From there, the Wolfpack kept the points coming. State tied the score at 36-36 on a three-point basket by Turner before eventually taking a 48-46 lead on back-to-back three-pointers by the sharpshooter from Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Both teams traded baskets over the ensuing three minutes that followed before Turner rattled off seven straight points for the Pack, including his fifth three-pointer of the night to give State a 62-55 lead and control of the game.
From there, the Wolfpack held Maryland without a field goal over the remaining 2:40, before closing the game out at the free throw line to earn the victory.
Evan Smotrycz and Dez Wells led Maryland in scoring with 10 points each.
The Wolfpack will take to the hardwood next on Sunday, Jan. 26 versus Georgia Tech. Tip-off at PNC Arena is scheduled for 1 p.m. with ESPNU set to carry the broadcast.
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