Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Old Face and Young Star Compete in Tight Game

By Mark Carroll - Blog Coordinator

Former NC State great Julius Hodge may be remembered as much for his playful personality as he is for the talent he showed off throughout an exceptional college career.

Fans had an opportunity to see both at the NC Pro-Am on Tuesday night as the 2004 ACC Player of the Year squared off against Washington Wizard point guard John Wall.

Hodge got started early in the first half, finishing a bucket through a foul and doing the "John Wall Dance" in the face of the top overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. The fun taunting continued throughout the night between both players, but Wall ultimately got the last laugh.

With time winding down, Wall brought the ball up the floor for his team's final possession with the score tied 71-71. He then drove to his right, getting a shot off as he was fouled by Hodge with .9 seconds remaining. Hodge finished with a game-high 20 points, but Wall got it done from the charity stripe to lead Triangle Gastroenterology to a two-point lead over 751 South that stood after incoming Duke freshman Quinn Cook's desperation 3-pointer fell short.

Wall (12 points) got some help in the victory from Tar Heel newcomer PJ Hairston, who contributed 18 points, including multiple eye-opening slams. Hairston used his athleticism to get to the basket, as he was guarded throughout the night by bigger defenders such as former UNC star Jawad Williams (10 points), and Duke big man Miles Plumlee (10 points).

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