Bryce leads Wolfpack with double-double in 95-64 win
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — C.J. Bryce scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help North Carolina State beat St. Francis Brooklyn 95-64 on Saturday.
D.J. Funderburk added 17 points for the Wolfpack (3-1), who won their third game in a row.
N.C. State delivered scoring runs of 9-0 and 12-0 in the first nine minutes of the second half to pull away.
The Terriers had eight turnovers during that span, leading to 17 points for the Wolfpack.
“We were playing hard,” Bryce said. “Coach really challenged us to come out in the second half and turn up our intensity on the defensive end, and I feel like we did a really good job of that.”
Chauncey Hawkins scored 16 points to lead St. Francis Brooklyn (1-3). Rob Higgins added 12 points for the Terriers, who dropped to 0-3 on the road.
“I didn’t like our response in the second half,” St. Francis Brooklyn coach Glenn Braica said. “I didn’t think we came out as focused as we should have been. We’ve got to work on that. We’ve got to extend our effort for a longer period of time.”
St. Francis Brooklyn: The Terriers hung tough for a half, trailing only 44-34 at halftime despite shooting 36 percent, making 1 of 8 3-point tries and committing 10 turnovers. They stayed close thanks to dogged determination on the glass, where they turned 12 offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack scored more than 80 points for the fourth time in as many contests, but they still haven’t put together a complete game. The good news for N.C. State is that it was able to shake off its rebounding and turnover problems from the first half and play a much cleaner game after halftime.
Bryce continued his efficient start to the season, posting his second double-double. The 6-foot-5 senior has scored at least 16 points in all four games and is shooting better than 60 percent (32 of 53) from the floor. “He’s playing really good basketball,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “He’s becoming a good player because he’s doing it in every different way.”
N.C. State point guard Markell Johnson had nine points and nine assists, but his shooting woes continued. Johnson was 4 of 13 from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Johnson missed the Wolfpack’s opener, an 82-81 overtime loss to Georgia Tech, with a sprained ankle. Since returning, he is 8 of 35 (22.9 percent) from the floor, including 2 of 17 on 3-pointers.
“It’s just all about rhythm right now and getting back in the flow of things and getting back in my rhythm,” Johnson said. “I’m not too worried about it all.”
N.C. State forwards Danny Dixon and A.J. Taylor missed the game because of injury. Dixon sat out with a sore foot, and Taylor was sidelined by a sore knee.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
N.C. State observed a moment of silence before tipoff for former player Anthony Grundy, who died on Thursday at age 40. Grundy played guard at N.C. State from 1998-2002 and was named to the All-ACC first team in 2002.
St. Francis Brooklyn: The Terriers host Division III Medgar Evers on Thursday night before hitting the road for four consecutive games.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack host Alcorn State on Tuesday night in the fifth game of their season-opening six-game homestand.