Bayamon, PR – T.J. Warren dropped in 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds as No. 6 North Carolina State easily handled Penn State, 72-55, in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.
C.J. Leslie contributed 14 points and Rodney Purvis donated 12 points in the victory for NC State (2-0), which will face Massachusetts in the second round on Friday.
Tim Frazier scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed five boards, while D.J. Newbill added 13 points for the Nittany Lions (1-1). Jermaine Marshall donated 11 points and eight boards in the setback.
Penn State kept it close early, as a layup by Newbill tied things at eight less than five minutes into the game.
NC State responded with seven quick points to make it a 15-8 game with 13:14 to go in the opening 20 minutes and, a few minutes later, a jumper by Warren made it a 10-point Wolfpack advantage.
Marshall drained a 3-pointer with 4 1/2 minutes left, cutting the deficit to 28-22, but the Wolfpack took a 35-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
NC State essentially put the game away early in the second half by opening the frame with a 12-4 spurt, which allowed the Wolfpack to extend their lead to a comfortable 47-30 margin less than four minutes into the half.
A layup by Frazier put an end to the run, but the Wolfpack continued to find easy baskets, using a 16-6 push to make it a 63-38 game with 9:15 remaining.
NC State led by double digits the rest of the way.
NC State has won 16 of the 19 meetings between the teams. The Wolfpack won the previous matchup by an 84-76 count in 2000 ... NC State shot 50 percent from the field, while holding Penn State to just 31.7 percent ... The Wolfpack reserves outscored the Penn State bench, 22-2.