For one half, Luke Maye was having a quiet game. It turns out, all he needed was some verbal fuel from the opposition to turn the second half into a career-high showing.
The junior forward had a mundane six points in the first half as NC State led North Carolina 37-35 at halftime.
However, Maye stormed back with a staggering 27-point second half as North Carolina earned a 96-89 road victory.
Maybe finished with a career-high 33 points along with 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for North Carolina.
So what exactly flipped the switch for Maye?
North Carolina senior Theo Pinson explained that some ill-advised trash talk awoke the big man.
What set off Luke Maye's 27-point second half?
Theo Pinson says he heard one Wolfpack player tell another: "You can guard him. He's not that athletic."
Pinson: "Once I heard that, I said, 'They done talked to the wrong one.' "
— Adam Smith (@adam_smithTN) February 10, 2018
Maye joins Billy Cunningham, Lennie Rosenbluth and Mitch Kupchak as the only players in North Carolina history with multiple games of at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in the same season according to Tar Heels play-by-play announcer Jones Angell.
NC State definitely has some sort of inferiority complex regarding North Carolina. Joel Berry even admitted earlier this week that North Carolina doesn’t consider NC State a rival.
With just four wins in the series in the Roy Williams era, you definitely can’t blame them.
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