Jayden Taylor scored 22 points — just two off his career high — to lead four double-figure scorers as North Carolina State cruised past Abilene Christian 84-64 Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.
A transfer from Butler playing just his second game for NC State, Taylor led a second-half surge with 13 points to keep the Wolfpack (2-0) comfortably in front of the upside-minded Wildcats (1-1), who had opened their season with a victory at Oklahoma State earlier in the week.
Also in double figures for the Wolfpack were Casey Morsell with 16, DJ Horne with 15 and D.J. Burns with 12. Mohammed Diarra just missed a second consecutive double-double, settling for nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Immanuel Allen (11 points) was led Abilene Christian’s only double-figure scorer.
The Wolfpack shot 46 percent from the field (29 of 63) to the visitors’ 35.1 percent (20 of 57) and were 20 of 24 from the free throw line to the Wildcats’ 19 of 27.
The Wildcats shaved four points off an 18-point halftime deficit to start the second half as the Wolfpack missed their first six shots. But the Pack quickly regained their shooting touch and had their cushion back up to 20 at 55-35 less than six minutes into the period.
Horne’s jumper ignited an 11-0 run that put NC State up 75-46 with 8:30 left. The Wildcats were never closer than the final margin the rest of the way.
The Wolfpack are 45-2 in non-conference home games under coach Kevin Keatts.
NC State led 47-29 at the half thanks to 50 percent shooting from the field and a 14-of-15 performance from the free throw line. They were 16 of 32 from the field overall despite being only 1 of 9 from behind the 3-point line while the Wildcats made 9 of 27 shots from the floor and 8 of 12 from the stripe.
After some early sparring, the Pack pulled out to a 10-point lead at 23-13 at the 12:13 mark. They doubled that cushion to 47-27 over the next 11 minutes with the help of a 10-0 run midway through the opening period.
–Field Level Media
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