BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) — T.J. Warren had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 6 North Carolina State to a 72-55 win over Penn State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Thursday.
C.J. Leslie had 14 points and Rodney Purvis added 12 points for the Wolfpack (2-0). Purvis was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers and N.C. State shot 8 for 16 from beyond the arc.
“It was a good, physical game,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “It’s good for us to play a strong, physical team that will challenge us around the basket and Penn State did that. Defensively, at times, we were very good. And, at times, we were disinterested defensively.”
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Tim Frazier led the Nittany Lions (1-1) with 23 points. D.J. Newbill had 13 points and Jermaine Marshall added 11 points for Penn State, which shot 3 for 19 on 3-pointers.
“They put the ball in Frazier’s hands so much,” Gottfried said. “When he penetrated and pitched it to somebody else, for the most part we got a hand up and covered the shooters pretty good, and they had a lot of tough shots.”
Leading 37-30 early in the second half, N.C. State went on a 10-0 run to put the game away. Leslie had five points in the run and also assisted on Richard Howell’s 3-point play.
Warren had five points in the Wolfpack’s 10-2 run early in the first half.
“T.J. and Rodney gave us a great scoring lift when we needed it in the first half,” Gottfried said.
N.C. State will face Providence or Massachusetts in a second-round game on Friday.
“I think we will be all right by January. I really do. I like my team,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “That’s the goal of the nonconference, play teams like this, prepare yourself to play in the Big Ten.”