The No. 16 North Carolina State Wolfpack avoided a major upset, coming back late to defeat the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs, 78-72, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Wolfpack (4-1) avoid a second consecutive loss while the Bulldogs (1-5) drop their fifth straight contest.
UNC-Asheville came strong out of the gates, nabbing an early 9-3 lead to start the game. From that point on, the game would stay tight, neither team able to string together much of a lead. N.C. State clung to a one-point lead with 1:22 to go, but the Wolfpack were able to go on a 6-0 run, started by a Scott Wood three-pointer, to stretch the lead to seven, their biggest of the game. The Bulldogs would play the fouling game to try to get back into it, and Keith Hornsby would score six points in the final minute for UNC-Asheville to bring them to within 2, but N.C. State hit enough free throws to not allow the margin to become closer.
The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field, and 42 percent from behind the arc. Jeremy Atkinson led the team with 28 points, while Keith Hornsby added 23.
N.C. State shot 56 percent from the field for the game, but were plague by woeful 66 percent free throw shooting (21-of-32). Richard Howell scored 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, while C.J. Leslie also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Lorenzo Brown added 18 points and Scott Wood 14 for the Wolfpack.
N.C. State will now travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a Nov. 27 date with the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.