Leslie and Wolfpack take down Broncos
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - C.J. Leslie scored 19 points to lead five Wolfpack players in double figures, as 23rd-ranked North Carolina State cruised to an 84-68 win over Western Michigan.
Richard Howell had 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds for the Wolfpack (10-2), who extended their winning streak to six games. T.J. Warren contributed 15 points, Scott Wood finished with 11 and Lorenzo Brown added 10.
Nate Hutcheson paced the Broncos (8-5) with 16 points, while Shayne Whittington supplied 14 and nine boards. Darius Paul donated a 12-point, 10- rebound double-double in Western Michigan's fourth loss in six games.
The Broncos erased an eight-point deficit in the first half and moved ahead 24-21 on a Connar Tava layup with 9:33 remaining. Consecutive baskets by Warren gave NC State a 32-28 lead, but Western Michigan's Austin Richie tied the game with two easy layups.
Leslie, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, then ignited a 9-0 run with a three-point play. Warren and Howell followed with back-to-back dunks before Leslie concluded the burst with two free throws.
"Early in the game, (the Broncos) disrupted what we do," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. "We can't be a team that turns it off and on like that."
NC State was up 43-36 at halftime and grabbed its first double-digit lead, 49-38, on Rodney Purvis' one-handed slam.
The Wolfpack continued to pull away and Leslie's tip-in gave the home team its largest lead at 75-54.
NC State has won eight straight home games and improved to 6-1 all-time against Mid-American Conference opponents ... Leslie surpassed 1,000 career points ... Western Michigan held a 42-32 rebounding edge, including a 22-10 discrepancy on the offensive glass.
12/29 15:18:10 ET