By AARON BEARD
Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. - Scooter Sherrill scored 22 points and Julius Hodge added 16 to lift No. 25 North Carolina State to a 92-62 victory over Florida A&M on Friday night.
Levi Watkins scored 15 for the Wolfpack (3-0), who improved to 60-6 at home against nonconference opponents under eighth-year coach Herb Sendek. That run includes a 37-4 mark in the four years since moving to the RBC Center from Reynolds Coliseum.
The Wolfpack also improved to 19-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Terrence Woods scored 12 points to lead the Rattlers (0-3).
N.C. State had no trouble in this one, scoring 16 of the first 18 points and leading by as many as 33 in the first half. That lead grew to 40 points in the second half.
The Wolfpack shot 54 percent, including a 10-for-24 performance from behind the 3-point arc. N.C. State finished with 25 assists on 34 baskets, a performance complete with plenty of crisp passes to cutting players for easy scores.
As N.C. State's offense roared to life early, Florida A&M struggled to hold onto the ball. In the first six minutes, the Rattlers committed seven turnovers and went 1-for-11 from the field.
The Wolfpack, meanwhile, started the game 5-for-9 with Sherrill getting three layups and assisting on a Mike O'Donnell 3-pointer. Watkins later found Hodge inside for a layup and made a 3 for a 16-2 lead with 13:27 left in the half.
The Rattlers closed within 30-20 on a 3 from Moses White with 6:55 left in the half. But the Wolfpack scored the game's next 13 points to start a 26-3 run that took all drama out of the contest.
In the Wolfpack's four possessions after White's 3, Hodge assisted on a 3 by O'Donnell and an inside score by Marcus Melvin, while Sherrill and Watkins each hit 3-pointers for a 41-20 lead at the 5:26 mark.
That lead reached 33 points before Woods had a four-point play with 32.9 seconds left, sending the Wolfpack to a 56-27 halftime lead.
The Wolfpack scored from all over the court in the half, shooting 63 percent and 8-for-14 from 3-point range. N.C. State had 18 assists on 22 baskets, as Sherrill and Watkins each had 12 first-half points.
Florida A&M shot 30 percent in the first half and committed 14 turnovers.