RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gavin Grant had 14 points and Courtney Fells added 10, helping sluggish North Carolina State put away Presbyterian 50-43 Saturday.
Grant finished with seven assists and six rebounds for the Wolfpack (10-3), whose sixth victory in a row came despite a performance coach Sidney Lowe probably would like to forget.N.C. State trailed well into the second half before finally taking the lead for good, even though the Blue Hose (1-18) never went away.It was quite an effort for the first-year Division I program from tiny Clinton, S.C., one in the midst of a brutal schedule. After nearly beating an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent on the road, Presbyterian won't have to wait long for another chance -- the Blue Hose travel to Georgia Tech on Sunday, one of 18 away games so far.The score was tied at 29 before N.C. State inched away by six on a layup by Marques Johnson that produced the largest lead of the game, but Travis Sligh cut that in half with a 3-pointer with 4 minutes left. However, three consecutive Presbyterian possessions ended in turnovers down the stretch, and the Wolfpack converted 7-of-8 at the free throw line to hold on.As pathetic as the overall game was, it paled in comparison to the first half. Both teams finished the opening 20 minutes with a combined 37 points, as the Blue Hose led 20-17. No player had more than four points, and N.C. State didn't have anyone with more than two rebounds. Only one foul was called in the half, and there were no free throw attempts.