RALEIGH, N.C. – Junior Richard Howell scored a career-high 25 points to lead NC State to a 91-61 victory over Morehead State Sunday evening at the RBC Center in the opening round of the TicketCity Legends Classic.
Howell, whose previous career high was 18 last season at Duke, was one of three Wolfpack players to hit double figures in the game. He was joined by junior DeShawn Painter, who also had a career high with 19 points, thanks in great part to a seven-for-seven performance a the free throw line.
Howell and Painter dominated inside the lane, allowing the Wolfpack to build a 34-23 rebounding advantage.
"They did a good job of working together inside the lane," said first-year head coach Mark Gottfried.
Junior Scott Wood scored all 18 of his points in the first half on five 3-pointers and three free throws.
Sophomore Lorenzo Brown turned in another impressive performance running the Wolfpack offense against Morehead’s 1-3-1 zone, with six assists and two turnovers on the night.
“We had some nice situations with our inside players,” Gottfried said. “I thought the key was that we moved the ball around very unselfishly.
“I thought Lorenzo did a great job of putting the ball in the right person’s hands just about every time down the court.”
The Wolfpack (2-0 overall) moved the ball nicely all night, with 26 assists on 33 baskets. It also took care of the ball, committing just four turnovers in the first half and 12 for the game.
The wide margin swelled to as much as a 36-point lead for the Wolfpack, allowing every player on the roster – other than sophomore C.J. Leslie and freshman Thomas de Thaey, who were both out of the lineup for the second consecutive game – to see action.
“A lot of people got the opportunity to see some time on the court and I was impressed with what I saw,” Gottfried said.
For the game, the Pack made 61 percent of its shots, including an 8-for-23 performance from 3-point range, and outrebounded the Eagles 34-23.
The Wolfpack was a smoothly executing machine in the first half, shooting 66.7 percent from the field and recording 15 assists on its 16 baskets. State had just four turnovers in the opening half, while forcing the Eagles to commit 10.
Brown dissected Morehead State’s zone defense, allowing the Pack to double the score, 48-24, with less than two minutes before halftime. State led 48-30 at intermission.
Three Wolfpack players hit double figures before the half, led by Wood with 18. Howell added 14 and Painter had 11.
The Wolfpack returns to action on Wednesday against Princeton in the second round of the Ticketcity Legends Classic. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tipoff at the RBC Center.