College basketball: N.C. State 88, Northeastern 59
RALEIGH ó C.J. Leslie displayed his knack for the dramatic earlier in the week. This time around, he showcased the rest of his game.
Leslie scored 16 points and made an impact on both ends of the floor as North Carolina State beat Northeastern 88-59 on Thursday night.
ěItís getting later in the season,î Leslie said. ěIíve been playing a little bit more, and Iím starting to get a little bit more confidence and get the feel of everything.î
Lorenzo Brown scored 16 points and Richard Howell had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack (8-4), who shot 52 percent from the floor and never trailed.
C.J. Williams also scored 14 points for N.C. State. The Wolfpack shot 61 percent in the second half and finished with a season-high 11 3-pointers on 20 attempts.
ěIt was a good game for us, and we did a lot of things well,î N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ěA lot of different players did a lot of things well for us.î
Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith scored 15 points each to lead Northeastern (3-7), which lost its sixth consecutive game.
The Huskies cut N.C. Stateís lead to 40-30 early in the second half. But the Wolfpack answered with buckets on five consecutive possessions, including a put-back dunk by Leslie in transition, during an 11-2 run to extend their lead.
ěThey shot the ball so well tonight,î Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. ěIt seemed like every time we made a little mini-run and seemed to be climbing back into things, they stepped up and made a play.î
Leslie led the way. Cramps have slowed him in several games this season, but he had no trouble while making the game-winning layup in N.C. Stateís 67-65 victory at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday night.
After another day of heavy water consumption, Leslie grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots against the Huskies. He also sparked the Wolfpack with his perimeter shooting, scoring 12 points in the first half.
Leslie opened the game with a jumper from inside the top of the key and made another shot from the same spot later in the half. Then he hit his second 3-pointer of the season to push the Wolfpack ahead 34-18.
ěWhen heís healthy, heís a monster,î Brown said. ěHeís a big factor to our team, probably one of the best players we have. With him healthy, weíre going to do a lot of damage.î
N.C. State seized control early, snapping a 5-5 tie with an 11-0 run. Williams led the charge with a 3-pointer, a dunk, two free throws and an assist on a dunk by Leslie during the spurt.
The Wolfpack took a 38-25 lead into halftime after leading by as many as 16 points on three occasions in the first half.
ěWe wanted to go out and set the tone as soon as we stepped on the court,î Howell said. ěWe wanted to go out and throw the first punch so that they wouldnít be able to recover, and thatís what we did.î