BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) — T.J. Warren had 21 points to lead No. 6 North Carolina State to a 94-76 win over UMass at the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Friday.
Richard Howell added 19 points and nine rebounds and Lorenzo Brown had 11 points and 10 assists for the Wolfpack (3-0), who had five players score in double figures and shot 8 for 18 from 3-point range.
“Everybody was making shots and finding the open man,” Warren said. “It started on defense for us. It was good for everybody. I’m glad the older guys finally got into it and were making shots. I’m happy for them.”
N.C. State will play Oklahoma State in the championship game of the tournament on Sunday.
Jesse Morgan had 15 points for UMass (2-1). Chaz Williams and Terrell Vinson each added 13 points for the Minutemen. Vinson had a tip-in as time expired in UMass’ 77-75 win over Providence on Thursday night.
“That was a very good N.C. State team,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “They’re not rated No.6 in the country and picked to win the ACC for any reason other than they are a good basketball team.
“They were a tough out for us today. They handled our pressure pretty well and did a good job on the boards. They do more of the little things you have to do to win basketball games — knock down open shots, make free throws, box out on free throws.”
Scott Wood hit four 3-pointers for the Wolfpack in the first half, the first capping a 12-2 run for North Carolina State to start the game.
Maxie Esho’s dunk cut the deficit to 16-14 for the Minutemen with 13:43 left, but North Carolina State opened up a lead again and Wood hit his other 3s in a 12-4 run that closed the half and put the Wolfpack up 48-32.
“It was a good win for us,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “I thought we handled our game plan pretty well — attacking their full-court pressure and taking the opportunities that were there. We slowed down when we needed to slow down and did a good job managing that type of game.”