Dec. 31, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. -
North Carolina State put its starting five players in double figures and shot nearly 58-percent for the game in handing Western Carolina an 82-55 setback on Saturday afternoon at the RBC Center. C.J. Williams led the Wolfpack to its fourth-straight seasonal victory with 21 points, snapping the two-game win streak for the Catamounts.
NCSU (10-4) claimed its 14th-straight win over WCU in the overall head-to-head series with all but one of those victories coming in Raleigh - three in the RBC Center.
Senior Keaton Cole was the lone Catamount to reach double figures, scoring a dozen off the bench including a pair of 3-pointers. Brandon Boggs and Trey Sumler both finished with eight points while Harouna Mutombo was limited to seven points on just 2-of-9 shooting.
Sophomore Preston Ross led the Catamounts with six rebounds as NCSU out rebounded Western Carolina, 39-to-31. A dozen of WCU's rebounds came on the offensive end.
Williams scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in what proved to be a decisive first half. Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie scored 14 points apiece with Brown dishing out eight assists. Post Richard Howell recorded a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds with Scott Wood rounding out the double-digit scorers with 11 points including three 3-pointers for the `Pack.
WCU was limited to 30.8-percent (20-of-65) shooting on the afternoon - its second-lowest percentage of the season - and was outscored 34-to-4 on fast-break points including 20-to-0 in the first half alone.
Both teams struggled through the early going on Saturday afternoon as it took nearly five full minutes for the first field goal. Williams broke the drought with a lay-up that ignited a 14-to-6 Wolfpack run and a 12-point, 19-7, lead for the home squad.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Sumler and Boggs pulled the Catamounts back within six, 19-13, and prompting a NCSU timeout. It would be as close as Western Carolina would get the remainder of the game, though, as North Carolina State responded out of the stoppage with a 17-to-2 run that opened with nine-straight points.
N.C. State led 47-24 at halftime and scored the first nine points of the second half. WCU trailed by as many as 41 points in the second half, but used a 19-to-7 run during a five-minute stretch during the final 10 minutes to trim the margin back to 29, 79-50, on a second 3-pointer by Cole. Dillon Dunford's 3-pointer inside the final minute provided the final margin at 27 points, 82-55.
Western Carolina returns to Southern Conference play against preseason North Division favorite, Chattanooga (6-8, 0-2 SoCon), on Thursday, Jan. 5, at the McKenzie Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm, with coverage on the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 6:30 pm.