Pack Cruises Past Eagles, 82-62

RALEIGH, N.C - Led by T.J. Warren's game-high 30 points, the NC State men's basketball team defeated the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 82-62 on Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

Warren fell just one point shy of his career-high, reaching the 30-point plateau for the second time in his Wolfpack career.

Freshman guard Anthony 'Cat' Barber, in his first career start for NC State, scored 12 points to go along with a game-high six assists, tying his career-high in that category. Senior center Jordan Vandenberg, seeing his first action of the season after missing the first four games with an ankle injury, registered a strong debut, pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds, one shy of his career-high, while totaling seven points.

"I thought that was a very good team win," head coach Mark Gottfried said. "A lot of guys contributed in a lot of different ways, both offensively, defensively and on rebounding. I was proud of our group to bounce back against a good solid group of players from Florida Gulf Coast. They had a lot of success last year. It is a good team win for our group."

The Wolfpack held a commanding 54-22 edge on points in the paint and held the Eagles to just 19-of-55 (34.5 percent) from the field, a season-low in percentage and field goals made.

State used a pair of 10-3 and 10-0 runs in the first half to separate itself from the Eagles after the first 20 minutes of play. With FGCU holding an early 6-5 lead, the Pack embarked on the first of its two runs to take a 15-9 lead at the 12:08 juncture. Vandenberg made his presence felt from the outset, grabbing five rebounds over the first eight minutes of play and establishing himself in the low post on offense. He would finish the first half with five points and eight rebounds.

From there, the Wolfpack held FGCU scoreless from the 13:12 mark of the half until the 9:08 juncture, maintaining a working margin of at least six points before embarking on a 10-0 run over a four minute span to take a 33-19 lead, before upping the advantage to 39-24 at the half.

Following intermission, State outscored the Eagles 20-8 to start the second half - highlighted by a thunderous reverse dunk from Vandenberg on an alley-oop from Barber - to grab a 59-32 lead less than seven minutes in. Warren scored 12 of his 30 during the decisive stretch that put the game out of reach.

From there, the Wolfpack held a strong working margin as freshman center BeeJay Anya led the charge, registering back-to-back dunks before throwing down a third dunk midway through the half to give State a 68-41 lead. FGCU would get no closer than 17 for the remainder of the game as Gottfried was able to clear the bench in the latter stages of the game.

For its next game, NC State will host Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 30 at PNC Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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