No. 25 NC State 84, Norfolk St. 62

No. 25 North Carolina State’s unselfishness led to some big

numbers for quite a few players.

The Wolfpack’s point guard nearly had a perfect night from the

field, the freshman pure scorer had yet another 20-point game and

the big man had his best night on the boards.

N.C. State routed Norfolk State 84-62 on Saturday night behind

21 points from freshman T.J. Warren.

Lorenzo Brown scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and Richard

Howell added 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for the

Wolfpack (7-2).

”Our guys are really beginning to share the ball more, find

guys and try to find someone who’s a little more open than they

are,” coach Mark Gottfried said.

The Wolfpack shot 57 percent and broke the game open with a

transition-fueled run that bridged the halves, forcing 16 turnovers

and turning them into 21 points while winning their third straight

and improving to 29-0 against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

teams.

”It was tough at the beginning (of the season) because we

didn’t know what to do with all these scorers on our team,” Brown

said. ”I think we’re getting a little bit better with passing the

ball, passing to the right guy at the right time.”

Malcolm Hawkins had 16 points for the Spartans (6-7), who lost

their second straight – both against Top 25 opponents. They hung

around in this one for the first 15 minutes, but managed just one

basket in about 10 1/2 minutes while the game got away from

them.

Norfolk State simply didn’t have anybody who could keep up with

Brown, who had 12 points in the first half and was nearly perfect

from the field: he made his first seven attempts before an

ill-advised jumper with about 3 1/2 minutes to play was blocked by

Rashid Gaston.

”He controls the tempo completely,” Norfolk State coach

Anthony Evans said. ”We couldn’t rattle him.”

Brown added seven assists and helped the Wolfpack pull away. He

scored six points with two fast-break dunks during the 20-4 run

that started in the first half, ended in the second and pushed N.C.

State’s lead well into double figures to stay.

”Our defense keyed everything” during that stretch, Gottfried

said. ”We deflected some passes, we got our hands on some loose

balls, we turned those into fast breaks. … (The Wolfpack) showed

signs of a team that can guard somebody here and there.”

Brown’s fast-break dunk capped the burst and made it 43-26 with

just under 18 minutes left. And after Warren’s layup gave the

Wolfpack their largest lead at 54-32 with 13 1/2 minutes to play,

Norfolk State didn’t get closer than 13 the rest of the way.

Gaston finished with 11 points for Spartans, whose top scorer

couldn’t get anything going because he spent much of the night in

foul trouble. Pendarvis Williams, who averages a team-best 12

points, finished with four on 2-of-10 shooting while playing only

16 minutes.

C.J. Leslie had 11 points, freshman Rodney Purvis added 10 and

Warren reached the 20-point mark for the third time in his

nine-game career with the Wolfpack, whose first game at PNC Arena

since Nov. 23 paired two teams that had memorable runs nine months

ago in the NCAA tournament.

N.C. State upset its way to the round of 16, a spurt that helped

make the Wolfpack the preseason favorites in the ACC. The Spartans

return one starter (Williams) from the group that as a No. 15 seed

knocked off second-seeded Missouri.

Playing for the first time since final exams wrapped up, N.C.

State received a brief but effective test from a pesky Norfolk

State team playing four nights after losing by 10 at No. 10

Illinois. The Spartans clawed back from an early 10-point deficit

and closed to 23-22 on Kris Brown’s layup with just under 7 minutes

left in the first half before going cold.