NC State 91, Morehead St. 61
Richard Howell had a career-high 25 points to help North Carolina State beat Morehead State 91-61 on Sunday, giving coach Mark Gottfried a 2-0 start with the Wolfpack.
DeShawn Painter also had a career-high with 19 points in a dominating offensive performance for N.C. State, while Scott Wood had 18 points and hit five 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes. More impressively, N.C. State shot 61.1 percent (33 of 54) with an offense that moved the ball crisply, avoided turnovers and got out in transition to speed up the pace.
The Wolfpack led 48-30 at halftime and pushed that margin past 30 points by midway through the second half. N.C. State finished with 26 assists on 33 field goals, playing unselfishly from the tip to the horn.
Terrance Hill had 14 points to lead the Eagles (0-1), who shot 40 percent and never figured a way to slow down N.C. State.
The Wolfpack played for the second straight time without sophomore forward C.J. Leslie and freshman forward Thomas de Thaey, with Leslie sitting out three games for receiving improper benefits while de Thaey is out indefinitely while the school reviews the Belgium native's eligibility from overseas. But Howell and Painter more than made up for their absence inside.
Howell, a 6-foot-8 forward who shed 20 pounds in the offseason, had 14 points and 15 rebounds against UNC Asheville in Friday's opener. He followed that by going 11-for-13 from the field and pulling down eight rebounds against Morehead State.
Painter, a 6-9 junior, had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the opener and managed to put together consecutive double-figure scoring games for only the second time in his career. He also had a perfect shooting night, making all six of his shots from the field and all seven free throws.
The Wolfpack had relatively little trouble in Friday night's win against UNC Asheville, jumping to a quick double-digit lead and leading by as many as 19 late in the first half of an 84-75 victory. This game followed a familiar pattern with another fast start for N.C. State, though unlike the opener, the Wolfpack kept increasing the lead.
N.C. State had assists on 19 of its first 20 baskets.
The game is part of the Legends Classic. N.C. State faces Princeton on Wednesday in the event's Raleigh pod, then travels to East Rutherford, N.J., to face No. 7 Vanderbilt in the semifinals.