NC State beats Pitt 78-61

North Carolina State grabbed an early double-digit lead on Pitt and the Panthers could never recover in as the Wolfpack won 78-61 Tuesday.

Anthony 'Cat' Barber scored 31 points and North Carolina State dominated the first half en route to a blowout 78-61 victory against Pitt Tuesday. 

Barber, the ACC's leading scorer, penetrated at will and created open space for mid-range jumpers whenever he wanted it. Barber shot 8 of 18 from the field and made all 14 of his free throw tries to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Abdul-Malik Abu notched 16 points and 10 rebounds for NC State (11-8, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) while Pittsburgh native Maverick Rowan chipped in 14 points. 

Jamel Artis scored 16 points to lead Pitt (15-3, 4-2 ACC) and Michael Young added 14. 

Pitt faced a 25-point deficit at halftime and couldn't recover. The Wolfpack took a double-digit lead early in the game and led by as many as 28 points.

NC State made 6 of its first 8 field goals to take a 12-4 lead in the game's first five minutes and the Wolfpack extended its lead to 10 points by the next timeout. Pitt struggled to start the contest and shot just 2 for 12 during the game's first eight minutes, missing eight attempts in a row at one point. 

Rowan hit 3-pointers on three of NC State's next 5 possessions and the Wolfpack took a 21-point lead, 30-9. Pitt attempted to make a stand and held NC State to 2 of 8 shooting for a spell but concurrently went scoreless for three minutes, leaving the Panthers unable to cut into NC State's lead. 

The Panthers faced their largest halftime deficit in program history as NC State led by 25 points, 44-19, at the game's midpoint. 

Artis' layup pulled the Panthers within 20 points for the first time since late in the first half and his 3-pointer cut NC State's lead to 16 points at the under-12 timeout, 53-37. 

Pitt came as close as 14 points before the Wolfpack pushed its lead back up to 20 points behind a pair of baskets by Barber with nine minutes to play.

Artis cut NC State's layup to 11 points when he was fouled on a 3-point try late in the game. By then, the result was already in hand. 

Pitt played poorly for the second time in three games after the Panthers shot 29 percent and lost 59-41 at Louisville last week.

NC State won its first league game Tuesday. The Wolfpack opened ACC play with a five-game losing streak.

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