By DAVID SCOTT
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- N.C. State moved into the winners bracket of the Charleston Classic with a convincing 85-65 victory against East Carolina on Thursday at Carolina First Arena.
The Wolfpack (2-0) plays the winner of Thursday's late game between Charlotte and George Mason at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The Pirates (2-1) will face the 49ers-Patriots loser at 6 p.m.
Earlier in the day, Wofford and Georgetown advanced to the winners bracket with convincing victories. The Terriers beat USC Upstate 79-61 and the Hoyas had little trouble with Coastal Carolina 80-61.
The only unsettling news for the Wolfpack was the continuing soreness in center Tracy Smith's left knee. Smith started but only played six minutes.
N.C. State was led by freshman guard Lorenzo Brown's 16 points. Double-doubles were turned in by guard Ryan Harrow (11 points, 10 asissts) and center DeShawn Painter (12 points, 10 rebounds). East Carolina got 11 points from Corvonn Gaines.
N.C. State's Wolfpack leads East Carolina 37-29 at halftime of their opening round game at the Charleston Classic at Carolina First Arena.
The Wolfpack and Pirates traded the lead several times midway through the half until N.C. State went on an 8-2 run.
N.C. State had balanced scoring, with Scott Wood, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Williams each scoring six points. East Carolina was led at the half by Chad Wynn, who scored six points.
The Wolfpack dominated the boards, outrebounding East Carolina 23-18. N.C. State also had 10 offensive rebounds and scored 14 points in the paint. It was a sloppy half, with the Pirates turning the ball over 13 times and N.C. State losing it nine times.
The winner of the game will play the winner of tonight's Charlotte-George Mason game at 8:30 Friday. The losers play at 6 p.m. Friday.