Dec. 18, 2012
Powell scored 23 points in the Cardinal's 88-79 loss at No. 25 North Carolina State on Tuesday night, his fourth 20-point performance in five games.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I need to do to help my team," Powell said. "Whatever the situation I'm in, I'm just trying to help them out to contribute to getting Ws. I've got to step it up, obviously, because we didn't get the W."
Powell, a 6-foot-10 junior, didn't average better than eight points in either of his first two seasons. His career high entering the season was 20 points and he didn't score more than 18 in a game last year.
But he opened the year with 27 points against San Francisco, had 29 against Denver then reached the 20-point mark for the third straight game against the Wolfpack.
"He's become very consistent in his effort out there and in his play," Dawkins said. "I'm excited for him. I think he still has a lot of room for growth as a player and I think as he continues to grow we're going to continue to get better."
For N.C. State, Lorenzo Brown scored 18 of his season-high 24 points after halftime, while Scott Wood had 15 of his 17 in the first half.
The Wolfpack (8-2) earned a fourth straight win with another high-scoring performance at home. It also allowed N.C. State to avenge a road loss last year in which the Wolfpack blew a 12-point lead in the second half.
Richard Howell finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack for his fourth straight double-double.
Stanford (7-4) gave up its highest point total of the season and never led.
N.C. State, which came in leading the country by shooting nearly 53 percent, finished this one at 56 percent.
It was also another strong offensive showing at home for the Wolfpack, who came in averaging almost 86 points at the PNC Arena. N.C. State is in the middle of a six-game homestand that will keep it in Raleigh until opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Boston College on Jan. 5.
N.C. State led by just five at the half and 50-42 with about 16 minutes left before Brown got rolling. With the junior point guard attacking the paint more aggressively, the Wolfpack scored on six straight and eight of nine possessions to finally build a cushion.
Brown started the flurry with a score in the lane then added another floater in the lane. Minutes later, he penetrated to find a cutting Howell for a dunk, then scored again in the lane while drawing a foul for a three-point play that pushed N.C. State's lead to 67-50 with 10:32 left.
Stanford got as close as seven with about 5 1/2 minutes left, but Howell answered by muscling his way through the paint for a basket then C.J. Leslie followed with a jumper to push the margin back to double figures.
Brown also came through with a driving basket and a pair of final-minute free throws that kept N.C. State in control.
Wood had struggled the past two games, going just 2 for 10 from the field and 1 for 7 from behind the arc for eight points. But he broke out of that with five 3-pointers in the first half, including a run of three straight that pushed N.C. State to a 29-20 lead with about 9 minutes left.
This was the Cardinal's first true road game of the season. Stanford had played six home games and four neutral-site contests, one against San Francisco in Oakland and three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
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NOTES: Stanford was searching for its first win over a top-25 team since knocking off No. 17/18 Washington 58-56 back on Jan. 13, 2011 ... Dwight Powell notched his fifth 20-point game of the year and has led Stanford in scoring seven times. Powell is now averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 54.6 percent from the field ... In 13 career games shown on the ESPN family of networks, Aaron Bright is averaging 13.8 points while shooting 56.7 percent overall, 52.8 percent from three-point territory and 91.3 percent from the foul line ... Josh Huestis, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, was playing in front of several family members and friends. Huestis celebrates his birthday on Wednesday ... Stanford's 75 field goal attempts were the most in a regulation game since Dec. 28, 2009, in a 111-66 win over Texas Tech. The Cardinal attempted 92 shots in last year's 103-101 victory at Oregon State that went four overtimes ... Stanford valued the basketball, dishing out 19 assists while committing only six turnovers ... NC State was held without a three-pointer in the second half ... In last year's 76-72 Stanford victory, the Cardinal trailed by 12 points with 14:18 remaining in the game ... With analyst Drew Shiller on assignment, veteran radio play-by-play announcer John Platz was calling his first game solo since Feb. 20, 2010. Stanford is 10-5 when Platz is behind the mic alone since the 2005-06 campaign.
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Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
"We grew a lot in a tough atmosphere. This was a true road game against a strong opponent and we played well. Some foul trouble cost us, we had a few shots blocked, but I can't fault our kids for the outcome. We were playing hard, getting after it. That's all you can ask for."
"We asked Rosco Allen to chase Scott Wood on screens, and he stayed with him, but experience won out eventually. I give a lot of credit to Scott, because getting open against good pressure is what he does."
"I'm excited about [Dwight] Powell's growth. He's showing us that he's capable of helping this team in a number of ways. We need him to stay out of foul trouble though, and he wasn't able to do that tonight."
"If you want to get to the foul line at this level, you have to take it harder to the basket, and show a little more wisdom in some decisions. We didn't get to the foul line enough tonight, because we didn't do those things."
NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried
"I'm excited. I think it is another win against a team that is going to win a lot of games this year. I think Stanford is going to have a really good year, and in fact have already had a good year. I think Johnny Dawkins does a really good job."
"I thought in the first half, the Dwight Powell kid really hurt us. In the second half, Calvin [C.J. Leslie] did a better job on him. I thought we were pretty good at times defensively, but I still think we can sustain it longer. We are executing our offense better and improving offensively. Making better cuts. We are strong with the basketball. Our knees are bent and ready. We are playing better offensively."
"It was a very unselfish effort by our guys. I thought that stretch in the first half, where Scott Wood got loose and made some threes, was a really big stretch for us. It opened things up. It was nice to see Scott get going. He's had some games where he was in some foul trouble. It was important for him to really play well, which I think he did tonight."
"At halftime, the key was guarding [Powell]. We had to slow him down. I challenged Calvin to do it. I thought he did a much better job. Bright and Randle never really got going for them tonight, and I thought that was good. They didn't hurt us very much."
"Lorenzo was able to penetrate in the paint and use his size. Bright is not real tall. He got down in the paint and used his length. The difference between him tonight and some earlier games this year, I thought he used his body, balance and control and came out with a lot of good percentage shots."