Dwight Powell is developing into a reliable scorer for Stanford. And coach Johnny Dawkins thinks he can do even more.
Powell scored 23 points in the Cardinal's 88-79 loss at No. 25 North Carolina State on Tuesday night, his fourth 20-point performance in five games.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I need to do to help my team," Powell said. "Whatever the situation I'm in, I'm just trying to help them out to contribute to getting Ws. I've got to step it up, obviously, because we didn't get the W."
Powell, a 6-foot-10 junior, didn't average better than eight points in either of his first two seasons. His career high entering the season was 20 points and he didn't score more than 18 in a game last year.
But he opened the year with 27 points against San Francisco, had 29 against Denver then reached the 20-point mark for the third straight game against the Wolfpack.
"He's become very consistent in his effort out there and in his play," Dawkins said. "I'm excited for him. I think he still has a lot of room for growth as a player and I think as he continues to grow we're going to continue to get better."
For N.C. State, Lorenzo Brown scored 18 of his season-high 24 points after halftime, while Scott Wood had 15 of his 17 in the first half.
The Wolfpack (8-2) earned a fourth straight win with another high-scoring performance at home. It also allowed N.C. State to avenge a road loss last year in which the Wolfpack blew a 12-point lead in the second half.
Richard Howell finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack for his fourth straight double-double.
Stanford (7-4) gave up its highest point total of the season and never led.
N.C. State, which came in leading the country by shooting nearly 53 percent, finished this one at 56 percent.
It was also another strong offensive showing at home for the Wolfpack, who came in averaging almost 86 points at the PNC Arena. N.C. State is in the middle of a six-game homestand that will keep it in Raleigh until opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Boston College on Jan. 5.
N.C. State led by just five at the half and 50-42 with about 16 minutes left before Brown got rolling. With the junior point guard attacking the paint more aggressively, the Wolfpack scored on six straight and eight of nine possessions to finally build a cushion.
Brown started the flurry with a score in the lane then added another floater in the lane. Minutes later, he penetrated to find a cutting Howell for a dunk, then scored again in the lane while drawing a foul for a three-point play that pushed N.C. State's lead to 67-50 with 10:32 left.
Stanford got as close as seven with about 5½ minutes left, but Howell answered by muscling his way through the paint for a basket then C.J. Leslie followed with a jumper to push the margin back to double figures.
Brown also came through with a driving basket and a pair of final-minute free throws that kept N.C. State in control.
Wood had struggled the past two games, going just 2 for 10 from the field and 1 for 7 from behind the arc for eight points. But he broke out of that with five 3-pointers in the first half, including a run of three straight that pushed N.C. State to a 29-20 lead with about 9 minutes left.
This was the Cardinal's first true road game of the season. Stanford had played six home games, one against San Francisco in its home state and three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.