T.J. Warren posted his fifth career double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony 'Cat' Barber added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
"I was really proud of our young guys tonight," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "They came in here and I thought they were fearless. They played with poise and we stayed with what we wanted to do. I like the fact we came in here and showed some confidence, we were mentally and emotionally ready to start the game. Good win for our team, very excited for our players."
Tennessee had outscored State 23-11 in the second half and was gaining momentum before a coast-to-coast dunk by Warren halted the run and gave NC State (8-2) a 50-43 lead at the 7:01 mark. The teams traded blocks down the stretch, and a clutch baseline jumper by Warren at the end of the shot clock and a drive by Lee lifted NC State to a 56-45 lead with 2:26 remaining.
The Wolfpack attacked Tennessee's press and held off the host Volunteers (6-4). NC State controlled every second of the first half. The Pack jumped out to a 6-0 lead and forced Tennessee to call timeout after buckets by Freeman and Warren extended the lead to 12-5. With a 14-11 lead, the Pack used a quick 7-0 spurt - highlighted by a Turner 3-pointer - to take its first double-digit lead at 21-11.
With Tennessee a cold 0-for-9 from 3-point range and Kyle Washington and BeeJay Anya blocking shots inside, NC State extended the lead. A 7-1 run that included jump hooks from both Washington and Anya closed the half and the Wolfpack owned a 37-20 lead at halftime. NC State blocked six shots in the first period and forced Tennessee into .241 shooting.
Tennessee was led by Jordan McRae's 21 points. Jeronne Maymon scored 17.
NC State will host East Carolina Saturday, Dec. 21 at noon at PNC Arena.