In their first meeting this season, NC State shot 54.5% in the first half and scored 53 points, while the Terps shot 25% and scored 27. Maryland played better in the second half, but they never really threatened to win the game in the final twenty minutes. The Wolfpack had one of its best performances of the season.
What'll be different tonight? Maryland is 1-4 on the road in conference and NC State is 1-3 at home in conference. In its five conference road games, Maryland is averaging just 92.3 points per 100 possessions, which is 11 points below their season average. NC State is coming off a couple of mediocre home performances and faces another of many "must-win" games.
Maryland OFF EFF: 103.4
NC State OFF EFF: 111.7
Maryland DEF EFF: 92.7
NC State DEF EFF: 99.2
[Efficiency numbers thru 2/9]
Maryland adjFG%: 49.3
NC State adjFG%: 52.9
Maryland 3PA/FGA: .259 (lowest in ACC)
NC State 3PA/FGA: .402 (highest in ACC)
The biggest difference between the two teams is three-point shooting, and that was the main reason why NC State jumped out to a huge lead in College Park. It's likely that NC State won't repeat its 12-26 performance from behind the arc, and that'll make the game a whole lot closer. The Terps will want to play at a high tempo, but the Wolfpack won't let them.
Maryland hasn't scored over 75 points on the road in conference play, and don't expect that to change tonight (if NC State keeps the pace at about 67 possessions and UMd hits their conference road average pts/possession, they'll score 62-63 points).
Call it baseless pessimism or whatever--I'm gonna go ahead and say that Maryland has a good shooting night and wins 74-66 (I'm usually wrong...no need to end that trend now).