BOSTON (AP)—North Carolina State men’s coach Sidney Lowe hasn’t forgotten the advice he got from women’s counterpart Kay Yow when he first took the job in the middle of a basketball hotbed.
“She was the first one to come over, to actually close my door. She sat down and she told me about the dynamics of the job, and she said it was the toughest job in the country,” Lowe said Saturday after Boston College beat the Wolfpack 79-68. “She couldn’t have been more right.”
Yow died Saturday morning of cancer, and few hours later, the N.C. State men’s team observed a moment of silence in memory of the Hall of Fame coach who won 737 NCAA games and an Olympic gold medal in 1988. The Wolfpack women postponed their game against Wake Forest; they will return on Thursday against BC in Raleigh.
After his game, Lowe remembered the coach who was already in Raleigh when he arrived as a player in 1979.
“You’re talking about somebody that’s been there for a long time, that really has been the face of N.C. State when you’re talking about sports,” Lowe said, adding that Yow was involved in raising money and awareness for cancer research. “She’s meant a lot—not just basketball, but the university in general. She’s going to be missed tremendously.”
Having played at N.C. State—winning the 1983 NCAA title—Lowe didn’t need a reminder about how the school had to compete for attention and recruits with Duke and North Carolina, each about a half-hour away. Wake Forest is about 100 miles from the Wolfpack’s campus in Raleigh, meaning Lowe now has three teams in The Associated Press Top 5 in his neighborhood.
“But she said, ‘You can do it. Just run your club the way you can,”’ Lowe said.
Tyrese Rice scored 25 points and Joe Trapani had 12 points and 10 rebounds as Boston College (15-6, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened a 19-point lead early in the second half. The Wolfpack (10-7, 1-4) scored 16 straight points— six apiece from Tracy Smith and Ben McCauley—but couldn’t take the lead.
Smith had 17 points and McCauley added 15 for N.C. State, which was coming off a 73-56 loss to No. 2 Duke and plays fifth-ranked North Carolina next Sunday.
BC led 47-28 with 18:25 to play before the Wolfpack scored the next 16 points, and it was 56-53 before the Eagles made six consecutive free throws to make it a nine-point game.
BC outrebounded N.C. State 46-25, getting eight board from Corey Raji. The Eagles, who had lost five straight league games at home since beating the Wolfpack last Valentine’s Day, have won two in a row after losing four straight — three of them in the ACC and the other to Harvard.
“It really took us a while to recover from that loss to Harvard,” Eagles coach Al Skinner said. “We’re a young team. We’ve got to regroup when we’re going through that.”
Rice is the only senior on the BC roster, and one of the few who remembers the team that lost 12 of its last 13 last season after starting 12-4.
“We went through it last year,” he said. “We know how a season can go from good to bad in five games. … We’ve had our slide and I don’t think we’ll go through that again.”