Wood leads NC State past Wake Forest, 87-76

The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Scott Wood had season highs of 23 points and six 3-pointers to lead North Carolina State past Wake Forest 87-76 on Saturday.

C.J. Leslie and C.J. Williams scored 18 points apiece for the Wolfpack (17-7, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 52.5 percent - 31 of 59- and never trailed in the second half to claim their fifth straight win in the series and second consecutive season sweep.

C.J. Harris finished with 21 points for the Demon Deacons (11-12, 2-7). They lost their fourth straight to fall below .500 for the first time this season and slipped to 1-4 in league road games.

Wood matched his previous season high of five 3s by halftime and hit the shot of the day during his four-point play that capped a 13-2 run and gave the Wolfpack their first double-figure lead.

He spotted up from well beyond the 3-point arc and uncorked a shot through contact from Travis McKie that bounced off the rim and kissed the backboard before falling through. He followed that by hitting his ACC-record 64th consecutive free throw to make it 63-52.

Then after Harris hit a 3 to pull the Demon Deacons within five, the Wolfpack responded with an 11-2 run. Williams closed that burst with a jumper that gave N.C. State its largest lead, 80-66, with 3:45 to play.

McKie finished with 13 points while Ty Walker added 12, Chase Fischer scored 11and Nikita Mescheriakov had 10. Wake Forest rallied from nine down at the break by opening the half with a 17-8 spurt. McKie's open 3 from the wing made it 50-all - the first tie since midway through the first half - but it wasn't enough to give the Demon Deacons their first victory in Raleigh since 2005.

Lorenzo Brown scored 15 points and Richard Howell added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolfpack, who won their second straight during a navigable portion of the schedule that includes lower-level ACC teams Boston College and Georgia Tech. They already have their most league wins in a season since 2008-09.

N.C. State won the previous three meetings by at least 25 points apiece, including a 76-40 romp three weeks earlier in Winston-Salem in which the Demon Deacons never led.

This one was at least competitive for most of the day.

Neither team led by more than seven until the final moments of the first half, when Williams capped a Wood-fueled 18-2 run with a three-point play that made it 40-28 with 1:28 before the break. Wood started that run by hitting three 3s in roughly 90 seconds.

The Wolfpack also had a seven-point possession roughly 5 minutes in. Leslie dunked on a fast break and was fouled hard by Daniel Green. The officials called an intentional foul, giving N.C. State two free throws and the ball. Leslie hit both and Williams followed with a 3 to make it 14-7.

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