Pack Cruises Past Queens, 78-47

RALEIGH, N.C. -- After trailing late in the first half and leading by two at halftime, N.C. State opened the second half by scoring 20 straight points over the first 7:37 to pull away from Queens College in a 78-47 victory.

The Wolfpack will open regular season play on Friday against Jackson State at PNC Arena.

NC State was led by freshman Caleb Martin, who finished with 16 points. Abdul-Malik Abu scored 14 and Kyle Washington added 10 points along with seven rebounds. The Pack never trailed in the second half and outscored the Royals 48-19 after intermission.

“I thought for an exhibition game, especially the first half, it was a good challenge for our guys,” NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “I thought our bench gave us a great spark in the first half. They got things going for us, especially Dez Lee defensively."

Caleb Martin finished six-for-10 from the floor, four-of-six from three-point range, and added four rebounds off the bench.

“When you get your chance to go out there, you’ve just got to send a message,” Martin said. “I think all of our guards went out there and played well. People were coming off the bench and doing their part and nobody had to pick up slack.”

Gottfried feels that the depth of the Pack will be an advantage for the team during the season.

“The cream always rises to the top and competition always makes us better,” Gottfried said. “I think right now, you have got a group of starters that need to understand those guys that come off the bench, they’re hungry.

"Caleb is hungry, Malik is hungry and Dez showed that tonight. He wants to play. I like that about our team. If I am one of the guys that started tonight, I would go back to the dorm and tell myself, ‘I better bring my A-game every night’ because the cream always rises."

Queens was assertive in the first half and led at various points. The Royals shot 55 percent in the opening 20 minutes and sank four three-pointers. State held the Division II school from Charlotte to seven-for-29 from the floor in the second half.

“There should be no way we should have been down at all in that game,” Martin said. “You miss shots, you make shots. They were making shots. They were playing well as a team. Coming out in the second half, we just had to shut them down on defense. We were determined to get stops.” N. C. State has reached the NCAA Tournament in each of Gottfried’s three seasons in Raleigh. The Pack, picked to finish ninth in the ACC during the preseason, will have to mesh together and discern who gets the bulk of the playing time as the season progresses.

Until then, State has improving to do according to its coach.

“We are a long way away and for a lot of reasons,” Gottfried noted. “We think here in November that we know who should start and that could change. They are hungry, they are coming and they are pretty good.

"It is going to take a while to see who on this team needs to play and how much we sub to find that real rhythm. We are a ways from that but I like some things about our team."

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