RALEIGH, N.C. (NCSU) – The NC State men's basketball team defeated Hofstra Tuesday night, 84-78, inside James T. Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum. Markell Johnson led the Pack in scoring, coming alive in the second half to collect 20 of his 26 points in the closing 20 minutes.
Johnson's 26 points tied him with former Pack legend Hawkeye Whitney for the most points scored by an NC State player in an NIT game.
Torin Dorn (19 pts.) and C.J. Bryce (18 pts.) rounded out double-digit scoring for the Pack. Bryce recorded a double-double (11 reb.) for the sixth time in his career, giving NC State a boost on the boards.
Trailing by three at the half, the Pack came out firing. Johnson tallied the first points of the half, connecting from long range. The following possession a Dorn steal led to a dunk by Johnson, giving NC State a 44-42 lead.
Hofstra would take the lead two more times in the game before NC State would outlast the Pride, as Johnson led the charge to give the Pack a nine-point advantage at the 7:55 mark for its largest lead of the game.
The Cleveland, Ohio, native scored the Pack's final six points of the contest.
The difference in the game was NC State's effort on the boards in the closing half. Outrebounding the Pride 27-16, NC State gathered 21 points off second-chance opportunities compared to Hofstra's six points.
The Pack will host Georgetown or Harvard Sunday at 7:30 p.m. inside James T. Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum in second round action of the NIT. Tickets can be purchased here.