Torin Dorn scored 17 points and reserve Jericole Hellems added 16 as No. 20 North Carolina State put together an impressive second half in throttling visiting Loyola-Maryland 97-64 on Friday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
The Wolfpack were playing with a national ranking for the first time since January 2013, bolstered by last week’s conquering of then-No. 7 Auburn.
N.C. State is 12-1 for the first time since in 13 years. This was the Wolfpack’s final tune-up before starting its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule next Thursday at Miami.
C.J. Bryce and Braxton Beverly both tallied 13 points and DJ Funderburk had 10 points for the Wolfpack. All the offense came without a point from starting guard Markell Johnson, who was the big producer against Auburn.
Andrew Kostecka scored 27 points for Loyola (4-9), which lost its season-long third game in a row prior to embarking on its Patriot League schedule. It was the team’s fifth straight road game.
Kostecka scored nine of Loyola’s first 11 second-half points, but the margin never dipped to single digits. Chuck Champion finished with 12 points for the Greyhounds.
Beverly had 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, aided by a trio of 3-pointers.
N.C. State made it difficult on the Greyhounds in the lane, registering 13 total blocked shots.
The Greyhounds drew within 28-25 with fewer than seven minutes left in the first half but went their next two possessions without getting the ball to the rim (blocked shot, turnover).
Shortly after, the Wolfpack clicked in transition and built a 45-30 halftime lead.
Hellems had 10 points in the first half, helping the Wolfpack to 63.3-percent shooting in the opening half. That countered some of the team’s 10 turnovers.
Continuing a theme from Saturday’s game against South Carolina Upstate, N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts subbed out all five starters at the same time. This time, it was less than 4 1/2 minutes into the game.
Reserve guard Eric Lockett, who was the team’s top scorer off the bench in its previous game, hit for six early points.
Loyola played without sophomore forward Brent Holcombe, the team’s top rebounder and a starter in the previous five games.
—Field Level Media