RALEIGH, N.C. -- T.J. Warren scored 30 points -- 26 in the second half -- to lead North Carolina State to a 75-56 victory over Eastern Kentucky Saturday night at PNC Arena.
After a cold shooting first half (9 of 28 from the floor, 0-7 from beyond the arc), NC State (4-2) came out and outscored Eastern Kentucky 9-2 in the first 2:38 of the second half to take its first lead (30-29) since early in the first half (7-6).
Warren and Anthony Barber were the catalysts that got NC State moving in the final 20 minutes Warren hit two jumpers to start the half and Warren used his superior athletic ability to drive and score seven straight points to give the Wolfpack a 47-41 lead it would not relinquish.
NC State then went on a tear in the final 10 minutes of the game to quickly extend a 51-49 lead. Barber, Ralston Turner, Warren and a thunderous dunk by Desmond Lee pushed the lead 65-51 with 3 minutes remaining.
Both teams struggled to hit jumpers in the first half. Senior guard Glenn Cosey, one of the Ohio Valley Conference's top players, struggled from long range and was held to 14 points. He didn't hit his first 3-pointer until there was 5:05 remaining in the half, which put the Colonials up by 10 (22-12) against the equally-cold Wolfpack.
NC State briefly led 6-5 on a dunk by center Jordan Vandenberg 3:30 into the game. Over the next 12 minutes, the Wolfpack made only 3 of 17 shots from the field, yet only trailed 22-15 because the Colonels missed their share from the floor (5 of 17).
Eastern Kentucky dared NC State to shoot over its 2/3 zone and the Wolfpack struggled from beyond the arc in the first half. It scored 14 of its 21 points in the half from inside the paint, using its size advantage.
Corey Walden added 13 points for Eastern Kentucky (6-2), which had a four-game winning streak end.
NCSU guard Tyler Lewis was perfect from the foul line heading into the game (10-10 this year, 17 straight over two seasons) before missing his first attempt late in the first half. ... . NCSU is 10-1 all-time against EKU. This was the first meeting between the schools since Jan. 23, 1960, a 58-50 NCSU win at Reynolds Coliseum. All 11 meetings have been in Raleigh. The only EKU win was Feb. 28, 1959 (71-61). ... Eastern Kentucky is 13-35 against the Atlantic Coast Conference, while NC State is 14-2 against the Ohio Valley Conference.