Rodney Purvis led a balanced NC State offense with 19 points and the 23rd-ranked Wolfpack held off a feisty Boston College team, 78-73, on Saturday afternoon in the ACC opener at Conte Forum.
Ryan Anderson led the BC effort with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Rahon had 18 points, Lonnie Jackson scored 11 and Olivier Hanlan netted 10.
The Eagles (8-6) were within a point with under a minute remaining, but Scott Wood drilled a 3-pointer to give NC State a 72-68 lead. Anderson answered with a 3-point play to make it 72-71. Wood then hit two free throws with 27 seconds left to get the lead back three.
With 18.9 seconds left, Patrick Heckmann drew a foul from Purvis while shooting a 3-pointer, almost hitting the trey in the process (and fouling out Purvis). He hit 2-of-3 to get the Eagles within one, 74-73.
Wood went back to the line with 16.4 ticks left and hit two more to push the lead back to three, 76-73.
Rahon missed an open 3-pointer in the closing seconds, and Wood put the game away with two free throws.
NC State (12-2) came in as the nation's best shooting team, and the Wolfpack did not disappoint in the first half, hitting 12-of-21 shots en route to taking a 29-28 lead at the break. BC led 22-15 with 8:56 to play after a layup by Eddie Odio, but NC State grabbed the lead with a 12-2 run that featured seven points from Purvis.
The Eagles were hurt by their free throwing shooting, as they were only 24-of-37 (64.9 percent).
"I thought we did a lot of things really well in terms of things that you're going to need to do to win the game," BC coach Steve Donahue said. "I thought we were tough and physical and competed and took care of the basketball, fought through adversity with foul trouble. I thought all that stuff. But to win a game against as talented team as that, we've to do certain things that we typically do, and one of them is shoot foul shots. We're a better foul shooting team than that. That's something that we have to do."
BC's young players -- of the seven players in Saturday's rotation, five are sophomores and two are freshmen -- voiced confidence that this loss will help them in the long run.
"I don't think it's really about the outcome, really. It's just that fact that we just keep getting better every day," Anderson said. "We learn from our mistakes. We made a lot of key mistakes down the stretch. Against a talented team like that, they're going to beat you at it. We just look at it and grow from it and move on to tomorrow."
Added Rahon: "We know we can play with anybody. So, staying close with NC State, maybe should have beaten NC State, we expect to be in that situation. I think in a tight game like this, we're a young team and I think it's teaching us how to win close games. We've just got to be in the element, get in the reps of being in those kind of situations. In the future down the road, it will prove to have helped us. But right now, we're just disappointed we didn't come through."
BC, which fell to 1-7 against ranked teams in 2 1/2 seasons under Donahue, next hits the road for games at Virginia Tech (Wednesday) and Wake Forest (Saturday).
Tom Curran calls the show to discuss the Vince Wilfork contract situation. After texting with Vince this morning, Curran says that Vince's camp is possibly trying to put the "genie back in the lamp" and that the possibility of the Pro Bowl DT returning to the team has improved.
Heath Evans of the NFL Network joins Mut and Lou to talk how Revis and Browner impact the Patriots defense, the Vince Wilfork Situation, and the arms race between Denver and New England
We talk Revis with his friend and mentor, former Patriot Ty Law.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joins Mut and Merloni to discuss and reflect on the Boston Marathon Bombings a year later.
Jackie MacMullan talks some Celtics with Mut and Merloni as the season is winding down and the team is positioned to have a high draft pick.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston joins Mut, Lou, and Christian to talk about Rajon Rondo in the booth, the rest of the Celtics losing season, and the epic battle between the Pacers and Heat.
We discuss the Red Sox early season woes with manager John Farrell, as well as his views and faith in MLB's new instant replay system, and the continuity in the Sox outfield.
Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox starting left fielder, Grady Sizemore. grady talks about what it was like to hit a home run off his old teammate, C.C. Sabathia, and his reaction to not seeing Koji on the mound in a save situation.
Steve Lyons joins Dale and Holley to talk about the Red Sox and Yankees series and Michael Pineda's sticky hand.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports joins DJ to break down the first-round matchup between the Bruins and Red Wings. Also discussed is Zdeno Chara's Norris candidacy, transparency with voting for the NHL awards and whether the Canadiens will get out of the first round.
Shawn Thornton joined the show to preview the upcoming series against the Red Wings.
2 games left in the season and the Bruins are in the driver's seat for the President's Cup which is allowing them to coast and get healthy. Pierre McGuire updates Mut and Lou on the possibility of Seidenberg's return and talks about situations elsewhere in the NHL.
Crystel called in to defend the terrorists.
Our friend Michele McPhee joined the show to discuss the latest with Kayvon.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Buster Olney joined Mut and Merloni to discuss the Lester contract offer and the trickle-down effect in the clubhouse, the defense of Xander Bogaerts, and the slow start
Andy Brickley joins Mut and Merloni to discuss the Bruins Red Wings series, a possible Seidenberg return, and the power play.
We discuss the Red Sox after our interview with John Farrell, and Dustin Pedroia in the lead-off position has become a hot topic.
We discuss the Bruins first round matchup vs the Red Wings, and why many national folks think this series could be the one to watch for an early round upset.
Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.
Lou Merloni did play-by-play with Joe Castiglione today and then joined The Planet Mikey Show to talk about what went wrong, and a few things that went right as the Red Sox started their campaign to defend their World Series title.
WEEI.com's Chris Price joins John Ryder and Chris Villani on Planet Mikey to discuss the signing of Revis Island
The Red Sox' High-A minor league team in Salem recently had a 16-game winning streak that spanned two seasons. So what? From the standpoint of making prospects better and fostering player development, does that matter? Salem manager Carlos Febles (who managed Salem for the end of their winning streak, but who was also in charge of a 50-87 Single-A Greenville team in 2013) and Salem radio play-by-play man Evan Lepler discuss -- while also touching on a number of prospects in search of the next Earl Weaver and Vinegar Bend Mizell.
Scott and Ben recap WrestleMania 30 and talk about the death of the Ultimate Warrior.
Friend of the show, Brad Faxon, checks in to examine all the Masters action and to evaluate Bubba Watson's performance.More from this show
LB joins Mut and Merloni in studio to preview the Bruins first opponent in the playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed Aaron Hernandez getting in more jailhouse trouble.More from this show