Too bad the Tar Heels had been sending N.C. State to the free-throw line all night. The Wolfpack, a 75.5-percent team from the line, had plenty of chances to perfect its stroke.
UNC gave State 37 free shots, 30 of which went down -- both season highs -- as the Tar Heels found themselves in severe foul trouble at the Entertainment & Sports Arena.
"They were hitting their free throws, and that's why the score looks worse than what it was," said UNC center Kris Lang, whose fourth foul put N.C. State in the double bonus with 7:07 to play. The Wolfpack began a 27-5 run, breaking a 71-71 tie and effectively ending the game.
"They got to the foul line 37 times, and we got to the foul line 21, so that's a big discrepancy," said UNC coach Matt Doherty. "Part of that was at the end of the game. You make a decision where I don't want to just keep it close, I want to try to win."
The Wolfpack frequently got to the line late in the game -- UNC had 18 second-half fouls.
The Tar Heels were whistled for 29 total pushes, shoves, blocks, charges, hacks and whacks to the Wolfpack's 19.
Jackie Manuel and Melvin Scott fouled out, while Adam Boone, Lang and Brian Morrison each had four fouls.
"You can't say anything picky, but they just called the game tight," Lang said. "I'm not allowed to say anything about the refs. Either we didn't foul hard enough or there wasn't a foul. One or the other."
As State pulled back into the game early in the second half, Scott ran over Archie Miller after he released an on-target 3-pointer. Boone followed with his own four-point play two and a half minutes later.
Miller's outstretched hand caught Boone on the wrist after he released the long ball. The official called the foul, Miller's fourth, and Boone screamed "And one" at Miller before the State senior headed to the bench.
"I was upset because the foul was called. I wasn't upset with myself, basically," Miller said. "If I fouled him, I fouled him, but you've just got to go on and play. Four fouls was hard to deal with and go and sit on the bench especially when we were playing well."
Said Doherty, "I felt pretty good (about Miller's fourth foul), but we didn't capitalize like we should have in that situation."
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