RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina State ended the first half on a 17-0 run to build a 21-point halftime lead, and withstood a strong second half from Charleston Southern to down the Bucs, 78-56, at PNC Arena on Sunday.
CSU (0-2) trailed 25-21 following two Travis McConico free throws but NC State (2-0) ripped off 17 unanswered points over the final 2:25 of the half. The Bucs responded with their best basketball of the weekend in the second stanza, shooting 50 percent from the floor while outscoring the Wolfpack for much of the period. Sparked by Phlandrous Fleming Jr., CSU came as close as 12 with 12:44 remaining before NC State made enough plays to pull back away.
The Bucs, starting three freshmen and mixing four other newcomers into the rotation, showed marked progress from Friday's opener at Davidson. CSU out-rebounded NC State, 37-34, and hustled its way to 13 offensive boards. Fleming tallied 13 of his team-high 17 points in the second half to pace CSU. McConico added 14 to reach double figures for a second consecutive game, while freshman point guard Deontaye Buskey settled in after intermission en route to eight points, five rebounds and two assists. McConico and Buskey committed 11 of CSU's 24 turnovers, though, as the Wolfpack's pressure forced untimely mistakes.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh continues to be encouraged by his club. The Bucs will entertain Columbia International in Wednesday's home opener.
"After what we saw Friday night and the way we played, I thought we made big, big strides forward," Radebaugh said. "I really like the heart of this team and how hard we play. We never quit and kept fighting all the way."
"I thought we were a scrappy little bunch and scrapped and fought our way into some good things," Radebaugh continued. "We had some good stretches there. They just weren't long enough and our mental lapses were too long. You can't do that because the pressure is there and they're just waiting for you to make a mistake."
How It Happened
- Sam Hunt started NC State's momentum swinging 17-0 run with a three-pointer at the 2:25 mark of the first half. Hunt added two more triples to spark the spurt, and Markell Johnson buried a trey of his own at the buzzer to give the Wolfpack a 42-21 advantage.
- CSU outscored NC State, 19-10, over the first 7:16 of the second half. Fleming knocked down three triples to highlight the stretch, and McConico and Buskey each scored in transition off feeds from the other.
- The Wolfpack pulled away by holding CSU to just seven points over a 6:35 stretch in the latter part of the second half.
- In the first half, CSU set the tone for the day by corralling three offensive rebounds on its opening possession, the last of which led to a Fleming layup.
- Redshirt freshman Jamaal David helped CSU's cause with two first half threes, the first of which gave the Bucs an 11-10 lead at the 13:30 mark.
Inside the Numbers
- CSU connected on ten of its first 17 second half field goal tries, and finished 14-for-28.
- All but six of CSU's 56 points were scored by first-year players.
- Allerik Freeman, a Baylor transfer, led NC State with 18 points. Four others also reached double figures. The Wolpack dressed only nine players for a second consecutive game.
CSU will welcome Columbia International to the Buc Dome Wednesday, with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.