East Carolina 66

(2-1, 1-1 away)

(19) NC State 100

(3-0, 2-0 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 19, 2004

    PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    ECU 25 4166
    #19NCST 51 49100

    Top Performers

    East Carolina: M. Badiane 15 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Blk

    NC State: T. Bethel 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bethel opens with four 3-pointers for NC State

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Cameron Bennerman made a late 3-pointer, then threw his arms up in jubilation. Sure, North Carolina State was way ahead and hardly needed the points, but the shot put him in double figures.

    He didn't want to feel left out.

    Tony Bethel made his first five shots -- including four 3-pointers -- and scored 22 points to lead the 19th-ranked Wolfpack past East Carolina 100-66 Friday night in the championship game of the BCA Invitational.

    That 3 made Bennerman the eighth Wolfpack player to score at 10 points in the tournament, joining Bethel, Julius Hodge, Andrew Brackman, Levin Watkins, Engin Atsur, Jordan Collins and Ilian Evtimov.

    "We definitely came out in these games trying to get everybody involved," Hodge said. "When so many guys score in double figures on this team, it shows we're unselfish."

    Hodge and Brackman added 12 points apiece in this one, and Watkins had 11. Cedric Simmons worked inside for a basket with 41 seconds left to help N.C. State reach 100 points.

    "It's important to have good balance," coach Herb Sendek said. "Guys have been playing unselfishly and really looking for each other."

    The Wolfpack (3-0) cruised through the three games, taking big leads early in all of them. They outscored their opponents by an average of 31 points and shot 57 percent, and their closest margin of victory was 26 points in the second round against Elon.

    Moussa Badiane led the Pirates (2-1) with 15 points and Mike Cook scored 13.

    "I just told our kids in the locker room, this has been a great three days for our basketball team," East Carolina coach Bill Herrion said. "If you had told me we would have been 2-1 coming out of this tournament, I would have been pleased. We got beat by a really, really, really good basketball team."

    Bethel, a transfer from Georgetown, had only eight points in each of the first two games, deferring along with everyone else to Hodge. But Bethel started this one off with a 3 just 37 seconds in, and he kept shooting.

    "I just wanted to come out and be more aggressive," Bethel said. "I made that first shot and just got into a rhythm, and they kept going in."

    He had 15 points in the first half while the Wolfpack shot 59 percent, but it was defense that gave them another terrific start.

    East Carolina missed its first nine shots and trailed 13-0 barely 3½ minutes into the game. Everybody seemed to be affected -- six players combined for those bricks -- before Cook got inside for a layup. Finally, the Pirates were on the board.

    The good times didn't last. N.C. State continued to increase its lead with stifling defense and precision shooting, and the margin went to 37-10 on two free throws from Bethel.

    "We have good group leadership right now," Sendek said. "Our guys are in the right mindset, and I hope we continue along those lines. We were ready to play and that is always a step in the right direction."

    Nearing the end of the half, the Pirates slowly crept to 48-25 when Jonathan Hart made 1-of-2 from the line.

    Then Bethel came through again. He banked in a 3-pointer -- clearly unintentionally -- and the Wolfpack were up 51-25 at the half.

    "I thought our young kids played well, I am very proud of them," Herrion said. "What concerns me is we are getting behind early in games. If you start slow, then you pay the price, and we paid the price tonight."

    Hodge, who had 21 points in each of the first two games, was solid again and was chosen as tournament MVP. He left to a rousing ovation with about four minutes left and demonstratively slapped hands with each of his teammates on the bench.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 66 100
    FG Made-Attempted 25-64 (.391) 32-51 (.627)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-17 (.235) 10-22 (.455)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-17 (.706) 26-31 (.839)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 35

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 19, 2004 @NCST 100, ECU 66Recap