It was the first loss in three games for the Irish (10-5, 1-1) since leading scorer Jerian Grant was dismissed from school for an academic violation.
Lee got the Wolfpack going in the second half when he answered a 3-pointer by Connaughton with a 3 of his own, launching a 9-2 run by the Wolfpack. He followed that up with a pair of free throws and then Barber drove inside for a layup. Barber tried to go inside for another layup that was blocked by Austin Burgett. But Jordan Vandenberg scored on the rebound to give the Wolfpack their largest lead at 51-42.
Tom Knight made a pair of dunks and Connaughton hit a 3 to start an Irish rally. The Irish had a chance to cut the lead to 53-49 only to have Knight's undefended dunk attempt clanked off the rim. But the Irish tied it moments later at 54 on a 3 by Connaughton capped a 12-3 run.
The Wolfpack responded with a jumper and a basket inside by Warren and moments later Turner converted on a three-point play when he was fouled on a fast break to give the Wolfpack a 66-59 lead.
The Irish used a 7-3 run to cut the lead to 69-66 when Steve Vasturia hit a 3-pointer with 1:29 left. But the Irish never got any closer as the Wolfpack made 8 of 10 free throws to hold on, making 25 of 32 free throws for the game.
The Wolfpack also forced the Irish into 11 turnovers and had a 16-10 advantage in points off turnovers. N.C. State, which lost its ACC opener 74-62 to Pittsburgh on Saturday, improved to 3-0 in road openers under coach Mark Gottfried.