Johnson scores 19, leads NC State past Vanderbilt 80-65

MIAMI (AP) - Markell Johnson scored 12 consecutive points down the stretch for the North Carolina State Wolfpack to break open a close game, and they beat Vanderbilt 80-65 Saturday.

Johnson's spurt included a 3-pointer and three-point play on back-to-back possessions, and he helped the Wolfpack transform a 60-58 lead into a 72-61 advantage.

The junior guard finished with 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 26 minutes. Sophomore reserve D.J. Funderburk added a career-high 16 points, all in the first half.

North Carolina State (7-1) bounced back from its first loss of the season Tuesday at Wisconsin. Vanderbilt (5-2), still reeling from freshman Darius Garland's season-ending knee injury last week, lost for the second time in three games.

The game was part of the Hoophall Miami Invitational, a four-team, one-day event at the Heat's arena.

The Wolfpack never trailed and built an 11-point lead midway through the first half. The 6-10 Funderburk, a transfer from Ohio State, helped North Carolina State to a 46-34 halftime lead.

Vanderbilt closed to within 60-58 and had three shots to tie but never erased their deficit.

Simi Shittu and Saben Lee had 15 points apiece for Vanderbilt. The Commodores, who made 56 3-pointers in their first six games, went 3 for 22 from beyond the arc.

North Carolina State was also helped by a 46-33 rebounding edge.


Helped by Funderburk, North Carolina State's bench outscored Vanderbilt 37-21 and has outscored opponents 260-113 this season.


North Carolina State plays host to Western Carolina on Wednesday.

Vanderbilt plays host to Middle Tennessee on Wednesday.