North Carolina State's Abdul-Malik Abu (0) battles between Bucknell's Nana Foulland (20) and Zach Thomas (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker
December 05, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Freshman Maverick Rowan shook off a bad game and North Carolina State's offense turned in a hot-shooting performance that led to the best scoring output of the season.

As for the defense, coach Mark Gottfried wants to see something more.

Rowan scored a season-high 27 points to help the Wolfpack hold off Bucknell 99-86 on Saturday, leading the offense on an afternoon when Anthony ''Cat'' Barber and Caleb Martin also had big scoring days and the team shot 54 percent.

The problem was the Bison managed similar shooting numbers and couldn't miss from 3-point range for much of the day.

''We have to improve (defensively) in a great way,'' Gottfried said. ''We're not going to be able to outscore everybody. It was nice today - 99 was nice - but we didn't do it the other day against Michigan.''

N.C. State (5-3) was coming off Tuesday's 66-59 home loss to Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, part of a bumpy start to the season that includes a blowout home loss to William & Mary as well as the loss of starting guard Terry Henderson to an ankle injury for several weeks.

For a time, N.C. State was flirting with the program's first 4-4 start since the 1993-94 season, according to STATS.

The Wolfpack led by 15 in the first half and by double figures with 14 minutes left before the Bison rallied to take a 73-72 lead on Kimbal Mackenzie's basket in the lane with 8:24 left.

But the Wolfpack eventually responded with a 10-0 run to break a 75-all tie, starting with the go-ahead basket in the paint from Cody Martin and including a big 3-pointer from Caleb Martin.

Chris Hass scored 29 points and hit seven 3s to lead Bucknell (3-5), which shot 52 percent and made 13 of 27 3-point tries.

''There were a few times here or there we lost guys that can shoot and they made shots, but I also thought they made a lot of tough shots,'' Bucknell coach Nathan Davis said. ''We got them to take a lot of the shots we wanted them to take and they went in today.''

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TIP-INS

Bucknell: Zach Thomas added a career-high 25 points. ... Nana Foulland had 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. ... Bucknell shot 58 percent after halftime.

N.C. State: Abdul-Malik Abu scored 11. ... Lennard Freeman had 13 rebounds. ... N.C. State finished with a 40-21 rebounding advantage and scored 16 second-chance points.

ROWAN'S LEAP

Rowan, a 6-foot-7 guard from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, managed five points on 1-for-11 shooting against Michigan, but made all four of his first-half shots and finished 9 for 14 from the field with four 3s.

''As a team, we just wanted to bounce back and come out and play hard and get the win,'' Rowan said. ''I just wanted to come back and just get going, play together as a team and play hard.''

20/20/20

Barber finished with 24 points despite playing nine first-half minutes after picking up three fouls, while Caleb Martin matched his career high with 21 points. Throw in Rowan, and N.C. State had three 20-point scorers in the same game for the first time since beating Charleston Southern in November 1990, according to the school.

HASS' ROLL

Hass made 10 of 18 shots and 7 of 14 3-pointers for his second big output against an Atlantic Coast Conference team this year. He had 26 points in a loss to Wake Forest on Nov. 15.

''You just play basketball,'' Hass said of his hot shooting. ''You don't think about it much.''

UP NEXT

Bucknell travels to Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday.

N.C. State travels to South Florida on Dec. 13.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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