RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Brandon Costner scored 19 points and North Carolina State used a hot start to beat Wake Forest 73-66 on Wednesday night and escape the Atlantic Coast Conference cellar.
Ben McCauley had 17 points for the Wolfpack (15-13, 5-10), who set the tone with an early 17-4 run and remained in control for most of the way to snap a two-game losing streak.
Gavin Grant added 13 points for N.C State, which shot 51 percent in sweeping Wake Forest for the first time since 2004.
Kyle Visser, who entered with a team-best 17.3 scoring average, played with the flu and finished with just six points after sitting out the second half with what he said was a hip pointer for Wake Forest (13-15, 4-11), which remained tied with Miami for last place in the league.
Wake Forest made things interesting midway through the second half, pulling to 46-40 on Drum's steal and layup with 10:15 to play.
Courtney Fells then hit a wide-open 3 from the key, unheralded senior Justin Clark added a layup, Costner hit two free throws and Fells added an electrifying dunk with 7 1/2 minutes left to give the Wolfpack some breathing room. The Demon Deacons didn't get any closer until the closing seconds, when Harvey Hale's second 3-pointer made it 71-66.
N.C. State dominated almost from the tip, and got virtually any shot it wanted during a particularly overwhelming 9-minute stretch. The Wolfpack made 11 of 13 shots, many of them uncontested, by the midpoint of the first half and raced out to a 24-13 lead.
It was a scene reminiscent of the teams' earlier meeting Jan. 13, when N.C. State shot nearly 54 percent and routed the Demon Deacons 88-74 in coach Sidney Lowe's first ACC victory, and the Wolfpack's previous home game two weeks earlier when they made nearly 67 percent of their attempts in an 81-56 rout of Virginia Tech.
Clark, who entered having played four minutes all season, started as part of Senior Night festivities and hit all three of his shots.