Dereon Seabron scored 16 points and North Carolina State finally put away visiting Bethune-Cookman in a 65-48 victory Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.
NC State built an early lead but the Wildcats made enough defensive plays to stay within range.
It was the last outing for the Wolfpack (7-2) before Sunday’s neutral-court matchup with top-ranked Purdue.
Terquavion Smith had 14 points and Jericole Hellems ended with 13 points
Seabron finished with 14 of the Wolfpack’s 40 rebounds, while Smith accounted for three of the team’s seven successful 3-point shots.
Joe French racked up 14 points and Dylan Robertson had 10 points for Bethune-Cookman (1-8), which has yet to play a home game.
NC State held a 55-42 lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining. But the Wolfpack went more than six minutes without another field goal. Then Smith converted a three-point play at the 2:19 mark to stretch the lead to 61-46.
That span when the Wolfpack were off the mark from the field largely corresponded with Bethune-Cookman’s scoring drought that lasted more than four minutes.
NC State, which was coming off a home loss to Louisville in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener, ended up shooting 39.3 percent from the field.
The Wildcats were 2-for-13 on 3-point attempts and committed 15 turnovers. They also attempted only six free throws (making four) while shooting 36.2 percent from the floor.
NC State opened the game by scoring the first nine points. It later held a 10-point lead in the first half before Bethune-Cookman closed to 34-29 by halftime.
The game was played on campus at Reynolds Coliseum, the former main venue for the team. The Wolfpack plays at least once annually there. They’re 23-2 in that gym since moving on from that as the primary homecourt.
This was the first meeting between the teams.
–Field Level Media