WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)C.J. Bryce scored 18 points and North Carolina State shot 52% to beat Wake Forest 91-82 on Saturday and earn its first Atlantic Coast Conference win.
Jericole Hellems added 13 points for the Wolfpack, though he had to be stretchered off with 28 seconds left after appearing to bang the back of his head on the court when he went down in a tangle for a rebound.
N.C. State (7-2, 1-1) pushed to a double-digit lead roughly 5+ minutes into the game and never trailed, earning only its second win in eight tries in Winston-Salem. Still, the Wolfpack had trouble closing this one out, seeing a 13-point lead with 1:07 left closed to 85-80 on Brandon Childress’ 3 on the play when Hellems was injured.
Before exiting, Hellems had continued his recent strong play. The 6-foot-7 sophomore had 17 points in a loss to No. 15 Memphis on Nov. 28 followed by a career-high 23 points with four 3-pointers in Wednesday’s win against Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
He finished 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from behind the arc, part of a balanced effort that saw six N.C. State players score in double figures. That list included Braxton Beverly scoring 15 points and hitting all four of his 3-point tries.
N.C. State hit a season high 12 of 22 3-pointers in this one.
Childress scored 30 points to lead the Demon Deacons (5-5, 0-2), who also shot 52%. But Wake Forest committed 19 turnovers that led to 27 points for N.C. State and did little to slow the Wolfpack’s offense most of the afternoon.
N.C. State: The losses have piled up here for nearly the entirety of the 30-year history of the Joel Coliseum, several coming when the Wolfpack arrived as a favored or ranked team only to find a way to stumble. N.C. State had lost 23 of 29 meetings dating to the 1990-91 season before Saturday. Things went to plan up for once up until Hellems was hurt late.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons did little to make the Wolfpack uncomfortable defensively, with several of N.C. State’s seven first-half 3s coming on clean catch-and-shoot looks. Wake Forest trailed by just seven early in the second half but did relatively little to seriously ratchet up the pressure on N.C. State from there.
N.C. State: UNC Greensboro hosts the Wolfpack next Sunday.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons host Xavier next Saturday.
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