RALEIGH, N.C. -- Forward T.J. Warren scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half as North Carolina State defeated Northwestern 69-48 Wednesday night at PNC Arena, ruining the return to the region for first-year Wildcats coach Chris Collins.
The game was part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. N.C. State had lost its five previous games as part of the series between the conferences.
Center Jordan Vandenberg added 12 points and guard Ralston Turner added 11 points for N.C. State (5-2), which won its third game in a row.
Swingman Drew Crawford led Northwestern (4-5) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Guard Tre Demps had 10 points for the Wildcats, who were held to a season-low point total after scoring at least 58 points in every other game.
Collins, a former Duke player and assistant coach, received a technical foul early in the second half from the ACC officiating crew. That ended up as a four-point possession for N.C. State, which built its lead to 39-22.
Collins was greeted by a round of boos during introductions, but even that was rather tame by some standards.
The Wildcats, who've lost three games in a row, couldn't overcome 24 percent first-half shooting from the field. Northwestern kept firing away from long range in the second half but there was no comeback in the works.
The Wolfpack is unbeaten in the three games since coach Mark Gottfried revamped the starting lineup as a means, in part, to reduce foul trouble that had plagued the team.
The Wolfpack led by as many as 12 points in the first half settled for a 31-20 halftime lead. It was Northwestern's lowest-scoring half of the season.
Warren, coming off two 30-point outings, scored 16 of North Carolina State's first 22 points.
North Carolina State was turnover-free for the first 16 minutes and had only one giveaway in the first half.
Crawford, who missed Friday's loss to UCLA in Las Vegas because of back spasms, was back in the starting lineup. He scored the Wildcats' first six points on two 3-pointers.
The Wildcats scored only on three 3-pointers for nearly the first 13 minutes. Their first 2-point field goal came on Crawford's drive and short jumper with 7:05 left in the half.
NOTES: The schools met for the third time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. All three were played in Raleigh, with the teams splitting the first two matchups. ... Northwestern coach Chris Collins went 7-2 as a Duke player in games against North Carolina State. ... The consecutive 30-point outings for North Carolina State F T.J. Warren entering the game marked the first back-to-back games of 30 or more points for a Wolfpack player since Rodney Monroe accomplished the feat in February 1991. ...Northwestern plays its next five games at home, beginning Saturday against Western Michigan. ... North Carolina State continues its stretch of seven consecutive home games with a Saturday matchup against Long Beach State.