SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — North Carolina State didn't have any second-half letdown against Notre Dame.
After squandering double-digit leads in two of its previous three games, and nearly doing so in the third, the Wolfpack never led by double digits against the Fighting Irish but also never let the Irish get ahead in the second half in a 77-70 victory Tuesday night.
"It's a great bounce-back win," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. "We had a tough second half against Pitt and I liked the fact that our guys showed some resiliency and bounced back."
T.J. Warren finished with 17 points, nearly seven points below his average, but got help as Anthony "Cat" Barber added 16 points, including hit a shot from near midcourt at halftime to give the Wolfpack (11-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 39-36 lead at halftime. Desmond Lee and Ralston Turner added 12 each and the Wolfpack bench outscored the Notre Dame reserves 23-9. The Wolfpack also outscored the Irish 25-9 from the free-throw line.
"It makes it a whole lot easier when everybody's involved, being aggressive, making shots," Warren said. "Everybody can't focus on me, when we've got other guys making plays and making shots."
Gottfried said the key was Warren let the game come to him.
"He missed some shots that I think we all count on him making every night, he's so good. But I like that fact that we had good balance," he said.
Lee got the Wolfpack going in the second half when he answered a 3-pointer by Connaughton with a 3 of his own, launching a 9-2 run by the Wolfpack. He followed that up with a pair of free throws and then Barber drove inside for a layup. Barber tried to go inside for another layup that was blocked by Austin Burgett. But Jordan Vandenberg scored on the rebound to give the Wolfpack their largest lead at 51-42.