North Carolina State's hopes for moving up in the ACC standings sustained a blow with losses in three of its past five contests. The Wolfpack look to end a two-game losing streak Saturday when they travel to last-place Virginia Tech, but the Hokies have shown they will not be a pushover after taking No. 13 Virginia to the wire in a 57-53 loss Tuesday. The Wolfpack pushed top-ranked Syracuse on the road last Saturday, falling 56-55, but lost to Clemson by 17 to fall a half-game behind Maryland and a full game behind the Tigers.N.C. State's T.J. Warren leads the conference in scoring at 23 points per contest, posting nine consecutive games of 20 or more points. The Hokies are last in conference games in scoring at 56.2, and have been outscored by an average of 9.8 points in losing 11 of 13 ACC matchups. Virginia Tech got a boost in Saturday's victory over Miami with the return of forward C.J. Barksdale, who had missed the previous four games with a groin injury.TV: 2 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Carolinas (North Carolina State), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Virginia Tech), ESPN3 ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (16-10, 6-7 ACC): Warren has scored 30 or more points twice in the past six games, continuing a splendid season in which he leads the ACC in field-goal percentage (52 percent) and is tied for eight in rebounding at 7.2. N.C. State struggles from long range, averaging 4.3 3-pointers per game (14th in the league) and shooting 30.2 percent (last in the ACC). Ralston Turner is the top long-range threat for the Wolfpack, hitting 38.4 percent of his attempts.ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (9-16, 2-11): Jarell Eddie leads the Hokies in scoring at 13.4 points, but hit only one field goal en route to a seven-point performance against Virginia. Barksdale has scored 17 points in his first two games back, and the duo of Devin Wilson and Joey Van Zegeren each finished with 13 points against the Cavaliers. The Hokies' top three scorers are all shooting less than 40 percent from the field and Virginia Tech as a team is last in ACC action at 37.1 percent.TIP-INS1. Warren scored 20 points against Clemson, giving him 1,000 for his career.2. Eddie is averaging 7.6 points in his past five contests, shooting 11-for-53 from the field.3. The Wolfpack lead the all-time series 37-14, winning the past three meetingsPREDICTION: N.C. State 73, Virginia Tech 61
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