Staten leads No. 22 West Virginia past NC State
NEW YORK (AP) Juwan Staten made some key shots to help No. 22 West Virginia get a big win at Madison Square Garden.
Staten scored 24 points as the Mountaineers beat North Carolina State 83-69 on Saturday night. Staten also had six assists and was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Gotham Classic.
''The role I have as captain I just had to step up and take the shots when they were there,'' Staten said. ''(I was) just trying to make plays.''
Devin Williams had 16 points and Jaysean Paige added 11 for West Virginia (10-1) in its third straight win.
The Wolfpack cut the Mountaineers' lead to one on three separate occasions, but were unable to close the gap. Following Lacey's tip-in with 10:32 left, West Virginia outscored N.C. State 21-11 in a 6-minute span.
In that stretch, the Mountaineers were 8 for 9 on free throws and finished 14 for 21 from the line - including 11 for 15 in the second half.
''Half-court offense means you make some shots,'' West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. ''Our guys have a lot of confidence in (Staten). He made huge shots for us. (Williams) scored on three trips in a row. We've been trying to get (him) to attack people a little bit. He made some huge shots for us.''
West Virginia shot 53 percent (31 for 58) from the field, including 7 for 13 on 3-pointers.
Trevor Lacey scored 24 points and Anthony Barber had 16 for North Carolina State (9-3), which lost for the second time in three games. The Wolfpack shot 56 percent (20 for 36), including 8-for-14 on 3s, but had 23 turnovers and missed 14 free throws.
The Mountaineers outscored the Wolfpack 32-21 in the final 12:31 of the first half to take a 41-32 at halftime. West Virginia trapped and pressed to create 16 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and scored 15 points off the turnovers.
''In the first half, their pressure bothered us. We played like a young team,'' N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ''We had 16 turnovers. We got in a hurry. I thought their defense sped us up. We did not play with a lot of poise and that was all to their credit.
''In the second half we settled down and played. We handled the pressure much better.
NC State: The Wolfpack entered the game with a 15-8 record in neutral-court games under Mark Gottfried.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers entered the game with a 31-44 all-time record at Madison Square Garden, but had won 16 of their last 25 there.
NC State: Hosts Louisiana Tech on Tuesday.
West Virginia: Hosts Wofford on Monday.
''This group, they let you coach them. I can get on their butt pretty good and they respond to it, don't take anything personal. They show up every day pretty much with great enthusiasm. I enjoy being around people who are enthusiastic, have fun, that enjoy what they're doing and that's this group.'' - Bob Huggins, on his team.