Appalachian St 68

(3-5, 0-1 Southern)

(25) NC State 92

(6-1, 5-0 home)

    2:00 PM ET, December 10, 2005

    PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    APP 26 4268
    #25NCST 38 5492

    Top Performers

    Appalachian St: N. Cranford 18 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast

    NC State: A. Brackman 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Brackman comes off the bench to lead N.C. State

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina State Wolfpack ran their scheme to perfection, getting open looks and sharing the basketball better than ever.

    What a difference 10 days make.

    Andrew Brackman came off the bench for the first time this season and scored 16 points, helping N.C. State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) run away from Appalachian State 92-68 Saturday in historic Reynolds Coliseum.

    The Wolfpack (6-1) played for the first time since Nov. 30 thanks to a break for exams, and the time off appeared to rejuvenate their Princeton-style offense. In their previous game, they lost 45-42 at Iowa, where they had only 17 baskets and shot 34 percent.

    "I think people look at 42 points and think the offense we run is bad," N.C. State forward Ilian Evtimov said. "No, that's not it. We executed poorly. We really focused on running our offense and moving the ball."

    It sure looked that way. The Wolfpack shot 67 percent -- including 75 percent in the second half -- and finished with 20 assists. Point guard Engin Atsur led the way with six, and three other players had at least three to come up two short of a season high in assists.

    "When you share, that's when shots come in rhythm," coach Herb Sendek said. "Those are the shots you shoot for a high percentage."

    Cameron Bennerman added 13 points and Evtimov and Gavin Grant had 11 apiece for the Wolfpack, who had some early rustiness before recovering to pull away with an 11-0 run midway through the second half.

    "You can't really prepare for their offense," Appalachian State guard Nathan Cranford said. "They have so many reads and so many options. They ran it well today."

    For the fourth straight season, N.C. State returned to its "Big Barn" on campus for what has been dubbed the Heritage Game, and all four victories have been lopsided. The Wolfpack improved to 593-177 in the arena.

    "It's an honor to play here," Bennerman said. "N.C. State has a lot of history behind it. Sometimes, I come by here and just shoot by myself. There's a lot of history here, and I take that seriously."

    The Mountaineers (3-5) continued a brutal road trip that began earlier this week at Tennessee. They also will visit Marshall and Arkansas-Little Rock before traveling to Duquesne for a tournament that ends on New Year's Eve.

    Cranford had 18 points, including four 3-pointers, for Appalachian State. He swished one early in the second half to bring the Mountaineers within 43-35, and the margin was 16 when N.C. State took control with a brilliant 2-minute stretch.

    Grant made three free throws spread over two possessions, and Bennerman got loose for a dunk on a nifty backdoor pass from Evtimov. After D.J. Thompson missed a layup on the other end, Evtimov connected on a deep 3, and Bennerman added one of his own following another miss by the Mountaineers.

    That made it 73-46, removing any doubt about the outcome.

    "We know when we play together, we are going to score a lot of points," Evtimov said.

    Sendek shook up his lineup, giving seniors Bennerman and Tony Bethel their first starts of the season. Bennerman made the most of his opportunity and finished with a season-high in points, but Bethel limped off a couple of times with leg cramps.

    Appalachian State came in averaging nearly 11 3-pointers a game, but was held to only six, its lowest total of the year.

    "It's hard to fight from behind," coach Houston Fancher said. "We had our chances. I was proud of the way the kids competed."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 92
    FG Made-Attempted 25-64 (.391) 31-46 (.674)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-22 (.273) 11-21 (.524)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-13 (.923) 19-29 (.655)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 26

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 10, 2005 @NCST 92, APP 68Recap