Warren Leads Pack Past Eagles, 78-68

RALEIGH, N.C. - T.J. Warren scored a career-high 42 points, becoming just the second player in the storied history of NC State men's basketball to score 40 or more points in back-to-back games, propelling the Wolfpack to a 78-68 win over the Boston College Eagles on Sunday at PNC Arena.

Warren becomes the first player to register the elite feat since NC State legend David Thompson went for 42 points on Dec. 3, 1974 versus UNC Asheville and then followed that up with an all-time single game record of 57 in his next game on Dec. 5, 1974 against Buffalo State. The 42 points are the most for a NC State sophomore since Ed Leftwich went for 43 versus Atlantic Christian on Dec. 8, 1969.

After scoring 41 points to lead State to a 71-64 win on the road against Pittsburgh in his last game, Warren sprung for 42 versus BC, scoring 22 in the first half before adding 20 in the second, including 14-of-17 from the free throw line, to set the new career mark and lift the Wolfpack to its 14th home win this season.

Over his past two games, Warren has scored a combined 83 points on 30-of-45 shooting (66.7 percent) along with 18 rebounds, seven steals and six assists. Against BC he topped the 30-point plateau for the ninth time this season, while also adding a game-high 13 rebounds to record his sixth double-double of the season.

"The most important thing about TJ that I've learned having coached him is he wants to win," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "In his mind he's not being selfish when he feels like he's the best option. Late in the game I thought it was important and crucial when they ran another guy at him and he found Desmond Lee for three, found Tyler Lewis for a big shot. He gave the ball up when he had to because he wants to win. He's trying to make winning plays and what more can you ask of a guy than that? His efficiency has just been off the chart."

After falling behind early in the first half, the Wolfpack rallied back to take the lead, utilizing a 9-1 run to pull in front 15-13 midway through. State held BC without a field goal for nearly five minutes, as Warren, Ralston Turner and Tyler Lewis put the points on the scoreboard.

From there, BC rattled off five straight points to reclaim the lead before State embarked on a 12-2 scoring run to take a 27-20 advantage. A Warren dunk got the run started while Anthony 'Cat' Barber capped it off with a jumper from the wing.

The Wolfpack and Eagles would trade baskets over the final five minutes of the half until a layup by Warren and a three-point bomb by Turner with four seconds left in the half gave State a 42-31 lead at the break.

The Wolfpack began the second half in fine fashion, increasing the lead to as much as 14 points, before a 15-0 BC run gave the Eagles a 47-46 advantage at the 13:13 juncture.

That's when Warren took over.

The sophomore from Durham, N.C. scored 17 of State's next 23 points to give the Wolfpack a commanding 69-60 lead with just over two minutes remaining. From there, the Pack connected on six-of-six free throws with a Desmond Lee dunk added for good measure to close out any hope BC had of the upset.

NC State closes out its regular season slate 19-12 (9-9 ACC), while Boston College falls to 8-23 (4-14).

For its next game, State will head to Greensboro, N.C. to participate in the ACC Tournament. The No. 7 seed Wolfpack will face the winner of the Miami vs. Virginia Tech game on Thursday, March 13 at 7 p.m.

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