RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State threw the clamps on the Miami (Ohio) offense, surrendering just one field goal over the final nine minutes of the first half, to cruise to a 97-59 victory on opening night at PNC Arena, Friday.
The Wolfpack (1-0) boasted six scorers in double figures, led by freshman Rodney Purvis and senior Richard Howell who eached chipped in 16. Howell scored his on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, and added 10 rebounds to notch a double-double.
Junior Lorenzo Brown finished the night with 15 points, seven assists, and six rebounds in 26 minutes of play. Brown looked as though he was on his way to a triple-double with eight points, five assists, and five rebounds at the half. Junior C.J. Leslie produced 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting with eight rebounds. Senior Scott Wood started hot, making two of his first three from beyond the arc, to finish with 10. Sophomore Thomas de Thaey tallied 10 on a 4-of-6 clip, burying back-to-back three pointers down the stretch.
State limited the Redhawks (0-1) to 7-of-32 (.219) shooting over the first half. An improved Miami offense in the second half brought the performance to 20-of-69 (.614). Meanwhile, the Wolfpack shot a blistering 17-of-26 (.654) in the first half, and stayed north of 60 percent for the game.
State’s offense generated plenty of easy looks throughout the night, as the Pack finished with a 31-8 advantage on fast breaks and a 46-20 edge in the paint.
The Wolfpack tore open an already wide margin to start the second half. Leading 41-22 at the break, State never let the Redhawks within 20 points during the final 17:38. The Pack crossed the 30-point threshold with 9:49 remaining, and built a lead as large as 43 with 2:07 left.
NC State exploded out of the gate with a 10-0 run over the first two and half minutes of action. Leslie provided the early spark by picking off a Redhawk pass and taking it the length of the floor for a one-handed dunk. On the next play, Leslie denied a Miami floater with an emphatic block at the rim. Wood’s first three of the ballgame finished the run. Miami clawed its way back to a 14-8 disadvantage, but Wood added another triple to make it 17-8 at the first media timeout.
State extended that lead to 21-10 by the next timeout, at which point Wood was 3-for-4 from the field, and 2-for-3 from deep to lead the Pack with eight points. The Wolfpack nursed that lead over the next five minutes, never letting the Hawks closer than six, until a 12-2 run to finish the half.
Leading 29-20, State ripped the game open behind six-straight points from Howell and Leslie. Miami’s Bill Edwards answered with the team’s lone field goal of the final nine minutes, before Howell and Brown poured on another six to send State into the locker room leading 41-22.