T.J. Warren scored 21 points and No. 25 North Carolina State Wolfpack shot 57.4 percent, sparking an 84-62 victory over Norfolk State on Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C.
N.C. State (7-2) made 31 of 54 shots from the field -- a season-high percentage for a Spartans opponent. Lorenzo Brown added 16 for the Wolfpack, as he and Warren combined to make 16 of 19 shots.
The Spartans (6-7), who lost their second in a row, fell below the .500 mark after they overcame a 2-5 start. This marked Norfolk State's second straight road game against a ranked opponent -- the Spartans lost 64-54 on Tuesday at Illinois -- but this game wasn't nearly so close. Whereas Norfolk State was within three points in the final minutes against the Illini, the Wolfpack put this game out of reach early.
N.C. State went on a 15-3 run to close the first half, and took a 38-25 lead into the break. Norfolk State did itself no favors in that late stretch, making one field goal in the final seven minutes of the half.
The Spartans never recovered. Malcolm Hawkins paced NSU offensively with 16 points. Rashid Gaston added 11. Pendarvis Williams and back-to-back MEAC Defensive Player of the Week Rob Johnson both had off-nights. Williams went 2-of-10 from the field for five points, while Johnson had four points on 1-of-5 shooting and one rebound.
Richard Howell (12 points), C.J. Leslie (11) and Rodney Purvis (10) also scored in double figures for the Wolfpack, who became the second team to beat Norfolk State by 20-plus points this season. Eastern Kentucky beat the Spartans 68-44 on Nov. 24.
Norfolk State has eight days off before meeting Iona on Dec. 23, the third in a stretch of five consecutive road games.