WINSTON-SALEM — A slow start and lax defense cost N.C. State in its last ACC game. Neither was a problem for the Wolfpack in a 76-40 blowout of Wake Forest on Saturday.
With 20 points and six assists from Lorenzo Brown, N.C. State won its first ACC road game of the season and rebounded from Wednesday's loss to Georgia Tech.
Wake Forest made just two 3-pointers, in 20 attempts, and neither of its top scorers, Travis McKie or C.J. Harris, could get untracked. McKie was ejected with 11:37 left in the game with only two points, 16 below his season average.
C.J. Williams (15 points) and a double-double from Rich Howell (12 points, 12 rebounds) helped the Pack win its fourth straight game against the Demon Deacons and the third straight by at least 20 points. It's the first time State has beaten an ACC opponent three straight times by at least 20 points since 1955 (four straight over Clemson in their first four ACC meetings).
Georgia Tech scored 82 points in Wednesday's upset in Raleigh and shot 60 percent from 3-point range. Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried challenged his team's perimeter defense, which ranks as one of the worst in the country at guarding the 3-point line, to be better against Wake.
McKie and Harris, who rank second and third respectively in the ACC in scoring, had just six points and two field goals between in the first half as Wake fell behind 33-17.
Brown was aggressive in getting State started quickly. He closed the half with a 3-pointer at 1:42 and then made a reverse layup with 35.3 seconds left to push State's lead to 33-17.
The Deacs never got going in the second half. Brown pushed State's margin to 49-23 at the 14:03 mark on a pullup jumper.
McKie threw an elbow in a scrum for a rebound at 11:37 and was ejected. Wake trailed 52-23 at the time and McKie's day was over with one field goal and just five shot attempts.
Harris, who finished with 10 points, was the only Wake player in double figures.
Photo: N.C. State's Lorenzo Brown slams in two during the second half of Wolfpack's 76-40 victory over Wake Forest. ETHAN HYMAN - email@example.com