Dorn’s double-double sends N.C. State past UMKC 88-69
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Torin Dorn likes playing a big spot in North Carolina State’s small lineup.
Dorn had 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help N.C. State beat Missouri-Kansas City 88-69 on Saturday afternoon.
It was the third consecutive game of at least 10 rebounds for Dorn, who starts at power forward at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds. Dorn finished with six offensive rebounds, and he scored after four of them.
”I feel extremely comfortable,” he said. ”I just try to use my quickness because I’m outsized a lot of times.”
The Wolfpack pulled away with a 22-2 run late in the first half on the way to a 47-24 lead at halftime. N.C. State (8-2) scored on eight consecutive possessions during the spurt, getting baskets from six players.
Markell Johnson added 17 points for the Wolfpack, who never trailed in their lone scheduled home game of the season at Reynolds Coliseum. Braxton Beverly scored 12 points and Allerik Freeman had 10 for N.C. State.
Aleer Leek tied a career high with 15 points to lead UMKC (3-8), which cut N.C. State’s lead to 11 points late in the second half.
Xavier Bishop and Marco Smith scored 12 points each for the Kangaroos.
UMKC: The Kangaroos are searching for continuity during a season in which they had to replace all five starters from their 18-win team a year ago. They had some nice moments, especially in the second half. ”I liked the fact that we finally started competing,” UMKC coach Kareem Richardson said. ”I think we were a little shell-shocked, or a lot of shell-shocked, there in the first half by their speed and their athleticism.”
N.C. State: The Wolfpack came out with good energy in the first half after a one-week break. They consistently moved the ball into the paint on offense and did what they were supposed to do against an overmatched opponent. ”I would’ve liked to have seen us play a little bit better in the second half as far as doing a great job on the defensive end,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. ”That’s something we can work on.”
Johnson had a dunk to remember during N.C. State’s big first-half spurt. He caught a pass in stride over UMKC’s press and accelerated toward the basket, where he encountered UMKC’s 7-foot-2 center Mo Ahmed. The 6-1 Johnson elevated and finished with a powerful right-handed jam over Ahmed, drawing a foul in the process.
”I knew who he was,” Johnson said. ”I saw him. I still went up. You know, poster.”
FRIENDS AND FOES
Keatts quickly made his way to the visiting locker room after the game for another meeting with Richardson, a close friend. The coaches worked together as assistant coaches under Rick Pitino at Louisville and shared a big hug before tipoff. They also shared a meal at a local restaurant the night before.
”We probably talk four or five times a week,” Richardson said. ”We’re consistent. He’s one of my best friends.”
N.C. State’s Abdul-Malik Abu returned from a two-game absence because of soreness in his right knee. Abu, who sprained the knee during the preseason, wore a large brace. He finished with six points and six rebounds in nine minutes, but he uncharacteristically bobbled the ball a few times in his first game action since Nov. 24.
”I thought he was a little anxious,” Keatts said. ”His timing is off, and it’s going to take a little time. You can’t simulate game speed in practice.”
UMKC finishes its stretch of three consecutive road games with a matchup at Incarnate Word on Dec. 16.
N.C. State plays the fourth of six consecutive home games when it hosts UNC Greensboro on Dec. 16.