CINCINNATI (AP) -- Deonta Vaughn scored 25 points and sparked a pair of second-half runs Saturday that rallied Cincinnati to an 80-71 victory over sloppy North Carolina State.
The freshman guard also made big plays on defense, getting six steals and nine assists that helped Cincinnati (8-3) pull away against a team that wore down and crumbled against its half-court, trapping defense.N.C. State (7-4) had a season-high 32 turnovers, losing the ball every which way. Its six-man rotation faded down the stretch, when Cincinnati pulled ahead by double-digits and held on.Vaughn, who set a Cincinnati freshman record with 33 points earlier this season, went 10-of-19 from the field for his second-highest point total. Cedric McGowan added 15 points, and John Williamson had 13.Forward Ben McAuley made his first seven shots for N.C. State and finished with a team-high 22.It was Cincinnati's first victory in six games against N.C. State, a team it hadn't played since Dec. 30, 1958. The Wolfpack fell to 0-3 on the road this season.N.C. State dominated the first half, leading by as many as seven points while holding a 19-10 edge in rebounds and holding the Bearcats to 35 percent from the field. The Wolfpack couldn't pull away because of the turnovers -- 16 in the first half alone, one shy of their previous season high for an entire game.Vaughn jump-started a Cincinnati offense that was intimidated by center Greg Oden during a 72-50 loss to Ohio State a week earlier. The Bearcats shied away from taking the ball inside against Ohio State, and went 2-of-24 from behind the arc to compound the problems.Vaughn made 3s on his first two shots, matching the Bearcats' total for the entire OSU game. He went 6-of-10 overall in the first half for 16 points.Vaughn also sparked a 12-2 spurt in the second half that gave Cincinnati its first lead since the opening minutes. He made a driving basket, then stripped Brandon Costner to start a fastbreak moments later. Jamual Warren's layup put Cincinnati ahead 44-42, a lead that would reach nine points.McAuley's basket started an eight-point run that got it down to 53-52 and included the forward's first miss after he opened the game 7-for-7. His second miss set up a fastbreak basket by Vaughn that stretched the lead back to 62-56 with 3:11 to go, and N.C. State never got close again.The Wolfpack has been playing short-handed with point guard Engin Atsur missing the last six games because of an injured hamstring. Redshirt freshman guard Trevor Ferguson, playing his second game for N.C. State, scored six points and had three assists with three turnovers.Gavin Grant, a 6-foot-7 forward who has been forced to handle the ball with Atsur out, had 10 turnovers. N.C. State has used seven or fewer players in each of its last seven games.