Anthony "Cat" Barber added 24 points for the Wolfpack (5-3), who needed a 10-0 run in the final seven minutes to retake control of this one.
N.C. State led by 15 in the first half and by double figures with 14 minutes left before the Bison (3-5) rallied to take a brief lead.
Caleb Martin matched his career-high with 21 points for N.C. State, which shot 54 percent for the game and made 9 of 17 3-pointers.
Chris Hass scored 29 points and hit seven 3-pointers to lead Bucknell, which had its own strong offensive day by shooting 52 percent and hitting 13 of 27 3s. Zach Thomas added a career-high 25 points for the Bison.
N.C. State was coming off Tuesday's 66-59 home loss to Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for its second home loss of the season. And its 4-3 start was the program's worst through seven games going 4-3 to start the 2010-11 season under former coach Sidney Lowe, according to STATS.
The Wolfpack flirted with throwing another frustrating moment onto the pile in this one, blowing a 15-point first-half and going down 73-72 on Kimbal Mackenzie's basket in the lane with 8:24 left.
But Cody Martin grabbed a loose ball and scored a layup to start the decisive burst, with Caleb Martin throwing in a 3-pointer before Barber squeezed by defender Nana Foulland for a baseline drive that pushed N.C. State to an 85-75 lead with 4:18 left.
The Bison got no closer than eight again, with Hass missing two good looks on 3s from the left corner in the final 2½ minutes with a chance to close the gap to five.
Bucknell: Foulland scored 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. ... Hass made 10 of 18 shots and 7 of 14 3s. ... Bucknell shot 58 percent after halftime.
N.C. State: Abdul-Malik Abu scored 11. ... Lennard Freeman had 13 rebounds. ... This was the first time this season that N.C. State had three players score at least 20 points.
Bucknell travels to Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday.
N.C. State travels to South Florida on Dec. 13.