Pack pulls away late, downs Camels 87-81

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Lorenzo Brown scored 24 points, flirted with a triple-double and helped North Carolina State pull away to beat Campbell 87-81 on Thursday night.

Richard Howell added 17 points and 17 rebounds, and Scott Wood finished with 16 points for N.C. State (9-4). The Wolfpack were 28 of 31 from the free-throw line and held a 40-22 rebounding advantage, but needed a late 13-2 run to finally pull away from the inspired, hot-shooting Camels.

Brown finished with eight rebounds and eight assists -- and was 14 of 16 from the foul line -- to help the Wolfpack win their third straight and fourth in five games, with the only loss in that stretch coming to No. 1 Syracuse.

Darren White had 25 points while Lorne Merthie and Trey Freeman scored 15 apiece for Campbell (8-6), which shot nearly 50.9 percent (29 of 57).

The Camels hit nine 3-pointers, but lost their fifth straight and were denied their second victory against an Atlantic Coast Conference team and first since claiming an overtime win over the Wolfpack here in 1993.

N.C. State improved to 10-0 in December games at Reynolds Coliseum since it left the intimate arena for its regular home, the RBC Center, in 1999. But this one was a fight throughout against a Camels team that wasn't at all intimidated by its power-conference opponent -- they've won at Iowa and Auburn in the past two seasons -- and had plenty of orange-clad fans make the 40-mile trip north from Buies Creek and help pack the building.

The Wolfpack started to take control midway through the second half, taking the lead for good when Brown's free throw with 11:53 left made it 57-56. Moments later, Alex Johnson lofted a perfect alley-oop pass to C.J. Leslie for a dunk that stretched it to 60-56, and after Campbell coach Robbie Laing was whistled for a technical foul, Wood hit two free throws to give N.C. State its largest lead to that point, 62-56.

Campbell closed within three before the Wolfpack started the decisive run with Brown's three-point play with 8:41 left and taking their first double-figure lead when Johnson's steal and layup made it 75-65 with just under 7 minutes remaining. Johnson capped the burst roughly a minute later with a layup that pushed it to 79-65.

Eric Griffin added 14 points for the Camels, who didn't get closer than six the rest of the way in falling to 1-30 against ACC teams with 13 straight losses against them.

Leslie added 10 points for N.C. State.

Neither team led by more than five during an intense first half that ended tied at 41 and featured some noteworthy shooting from the lines by both teams. N.C. State was 13 of 13 from the free-throw line in the opening 20 minutes while Campbell hit six of its eight attempts from 3-point range.

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