Leslie’s 19 points lead No. 23 NC State to 84-68 win over Western Michigan
RALEIGH, N.C. – C.J. Leslie scored 19 points to lead No. 23 North Carolina State to an 84-68 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday.
Richard Howell added 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting for the Wolfpack (10-2), who won their sixth consecutive game.
N.C. State shot 55 percent from the field, padding its NCAA-leading field goal percentage.
T.J. Warren scored 15 points, Scott Wood had 11 and Lorenzo Brown added 10 for the Wolfpack.
Nate Hutcheson scored 16 points to lead the Broncos (8-5). Shayne Whittington added 14 points and Darius Paul had 12 for Western Michigan.
The Wolfpack built a 43-36 halftime lead, shooting 60 percent from the field behind a 7-for-7 effort from Howell.
The Broncos pulled within 43-38 early in the second half, but they got no closer. N.C. State used a 12-2 run to take a 62-44 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
N.C. State scored at least 80 points and shot better than 50 percent from the field for the fifth straight game.
Western Michigan hung tough early on the strength of its offensive rebounding, outscoring the Wolfpack 16-6 on second-chance points in the first half.
N.C. State gained its cushion after a spurt by Leslie, who went scoreless for the game’s first 17 minutes.
Leslie went to the bench with 9:18 remaining in the first half after Western Michigan scored for the fourth time on a putback, exchanging some angry words with coach Mark Gottfried. Leslie returned to the game at the 3:35 mark with the score tied at 32.
He delivered a three-point play on N.C. State’s next possession to spark a 9-0 run. Leslie capped the spurt by reaching a career milestone in unusual fashion.
Leslie came up with a steal in the open court and dribbled toward the basket. He slowed to gather himself for a windmill dunk, and Hutcheson caught up and hacked him on the arm. Official Roger Ayers checked the courtside monitor to see if the foul was flagrant, but he kept it a common foul.
Leslie made both free throws to give the Wolfpack a 41-32 lead, becoming the 46th player in N.C. State history to score 1,000 points.