Pack Knocks Off Noles, 74-70

RALEIGH, N.C. - T.J. Warren scored a game-high 30 points as the NC State men's basketball team won its third consecutive game, dispatching the Florida State Seminoles 74-70 on Wednesday night at PNC Arena.

Desmond Lee stepped up and scored nine of his 11 second half points over the final 6:58 after Warren went to bench with four fouls, including a clutch tip-in with 12.1 seconds left that proved to be the game's final basket. With the win, NC State improves to 14-7 overall (4-4 ACC) while Florida State falls to 13-7 (4-4 ACC).

"I am really proud of our team," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "This was a game where a lot of things happened that we had to overcome. In the first half we loose BeeJay Anya, who has been playing better for us. Hopefully he is okay. Our big guys were all in foul trouble, so we went to the smaller lineup. Ralston Turner and T.J. Warren both got into foul trouble late in the game. There were a lot of things to overcome and our guys did a great a great job of continuing to compete.

"We've had a couple days of bad weather and I told my team that there might be 500 people here tonight. I thought our fans were huge for us tonight. There were enthusiastic, loud and here. They could have easily stayed at home and watched the game on TV. I am really thankful for them. We had a lot of players really step up and do some key things.

"Tyler Lewis gave us some great minutes. He had seven assists and no turnovers. He made some good passes at the right times to the right guys. T.J. was just phenomenal. He was aggressive and he was a load for Florida State tonight. It is a great team win for us."

The Wolfpack held Florida State without a field goal over the final 6:24 of play. Warren picked up his fourth foul at the 6:58 mark with State trailing, 62-61, but saw his teammates pick up the slack as he cheered on from the bench.

State outscored FSU 11-6 in Warren's absence to take a 72-68 lead, before he briefly returned only to pick up his fifth foul with 1:36 left in the game. From there the Seminoles cut the lead in half, connecting on 1-of-2 free throws on back-to-back possessions to make it 72-70 with 37 seconds remaining.

After a Wolfpack timeout, Lee followed up a missed three-pointer with his tip-in with 12.1 seconds remaining. FSU missed two desperation three-point attempts over the final six seconds as the Wolfpack closed out its three-game home stand undefeated.

Warren, who last year as a freshman set a career-high with 31 points against the Seminoles, reached the 30-point plateau for the fourth time this season. He also added a team-high seven rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes of action on Wednesday night.

The Wolfpack never trailed in building a 39-33 first half lead. State led by as many as seven as Warren scored 20 of his 30 points over the initial 20 minutes of action. Ralston Turner added seven for the Pack as the two combined for nearly 70 percent of State's scoring output in the first half. Furthermore, the Wolfpack pulled down 26 rebounds in the first half against the Seminoles, tying its season-high for a half.

State maintained its advantage following intermission, increasing the lead to as much as eight, until Florida State was able to take its first lead of the game, 56-54, at the 10:28 juncture of the half. State answered right back with five straight points to reclaim the advantage before each team traded punches over the final eight minutes of play that saw three ties and five lead changes.

For its next game the Wolfpack will travel to Chapel Hill to take on UNC. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the game set to be broadcast on ESPN2.

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