No. 25 North Carolina State 84, Western Michigan 68: Richard Howell scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, pulled down nine rebounds and made all eight of his shots as the host Wolfpack pulled away from the Broncos to win their sixth straight game.
C.J. Leslie added a game-high 19 points while freshman T.J. Warren came off the bench with 15 points for North Carolina State (10-2), which improved to 6-1 all-time against Mid-American Conference competition.
Nate Hutcheson tallied 16 points and freshman Darius Paul notched his second double-double in three games with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Western Michigan (8-5).
Howell dominated the first half, making all seven shots in the paint as the Wolfpack scored 26 of their 43 points inside. The Broncos trailed by only seven points at the break and moved to within five early in the second half, but Howell’s dunk triggered a 23-8 run as North Carolina State turned five steals into seven points during the surge to establish a 20-point lead.
Western Michigan could get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way as Leslie scored 13 points over the final 9:34 to help the Wolfpack coast to a victory.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Western Michigan G Brandon Pokley fell into the right side of Howell with 17:30 remaining and left with an apparent left ankle injury. Powell walked to the bench under his own power and returned to the game 2 1/2 minutes later. … Leslie passed the 1,000-point mark on a free throw with 58 seconds left in the first half. … North Carolina State’s six straight wins matches the longest winning streak the team has enjoyed in coach Mark Gottfried’s two years at the helm.