Eric Lockett scored a season-high 15 points off the bench as North Carolina State overwhelmed South Carolina Upstate with depth and offense in a 98-71 victory on Saturday afternoon at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Torin Dorn and reserves DJ Funderburk, Jericole Hellems and Devon Daniels all scored 13 points for the Wolfpack.
NC State (11-1), which toppled No. 7 Auburn in its most-recent game Wednesday night, is off to its best start in 13 years. The Wolfpack are 8-0 in home games.
Dorn bounced back after failing to reach a double-figure point total for the first time all season in the Auburn game.
Pat Welch scored 14 points, freshman Everette Hammond had 13 points for USC Upstate (4-9), which shot 7-for-25 on 3-pointers. The quartet of Malik Moore, Nevin Zink, Deion Holmes and Brandon Martin all had 10 points.
Welch was 3-for-5 on first-half 3-point attempts off the bench, but the team’s 12 turnovers were damaging by that juncture. The Wolfpack also held a 20-10 rebounding edge by halftime.
NC State coach Kevin Keatts used five reserves to begin the second half after sitting the starters late in the first half, though starters Dorn and C.J. Bryce both had nine first-half points.
USC Upstate was within 69-57 when the Wolfpack called timeout with 10:48 to play. Lockette responded with a couple of 3-pointers.
NC State finished the first half with a flurry to carry a 50-32 lead to the break.
NC State connected on six consecutive shots prior to the first media timeout for a 15-7 lead.
The Wolfpack had eight players, including five reserves, score in the opening 12 minutes. The two players who hadn’t scored were Markell Johnson and Braxton Beverly, who were the top two scorers in the Auburn game.
That backcourt duo finished with a total of five points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field.
It was the second all-time meeting between the teams, with the Wolfpack also winning at home eight years ago.
—Field Level Media