Raleigh, NC – T.J. Warren scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed five rebounds as No. 25 North Carolina State took an 84-62 win over Norfolk State.
Lorenzo Brown posted 16 points and seven assists while Richard Howell had 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for the Wolfpack (7-2), who have won their past three games.
"We did good things," NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. "Maybe I am just too critical, but I think we still have a lot of room to improve."
Malcolm Hawkins had 16 points to lead the Spartans (6-7), who have lost their past two games. Rashid Gaston gave 11 points and six rebounds in the losing effort.
After Norfolk State opened the scoring with a basket, North Carolina State scored the next six points for a lead it never lost.
A Kris Brown layup had cut Norfolk State's deficit to one, 23-22, but Tyler Lewis followed with a free throw and Lorenzo Brown's layup came with five minutes to play for a 26-22 lead.
The Wolfpack closed the half with the final eight points for a 38-25 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Spartans kept it from getting out of hand for the first couple of minutes of the second half, but a pair of Rodney Purvis layups was sandwiched by two free throws from C.J. Leslie for a 49-30 lead with 14 1/2 minutes to play.
Norfolk State rallied with an 11-2 run to cut its deficit back to 13 as Kris Brown's layup made it a 56-43 game with 11 1/2 minutes left.
Howell, though, followed that with a jumper and two free throws to kill the momentum as the Wolfpack's lead never fell below 14 points the rest of the way.
"NC State's a tough team," Norfolk State coach Anthony Evans admitted. "They took control towards the latter part of the first half, and they just imposed their will in the second half and took control of the game."
North Carolina State hosts Stanford on Tuesday ... The only previous meeting between these two schools was back in 1998, which the Wolfpack also won ... The Wolfpack shot a blistering 57.4 from the floor and grabbed 42 rebounds, while the Spartans made just 32.8 percent of their shots and brought down 32 rebounds.