Barber, Caleb Martin lead NC State past Northeastern 72-66
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried doesn't want anyone taking Anthony ''Cat'' Barber for granted.
Barber scored 29 points, Caleb Martin hit two clutch 3-pointers and N.C. State beat Northeastern 72-66 on Tuesday night for its sixth straight win.
''It's becoming one of those things, you look down and the guy's got 29 points and it's not a big deal anymore,'' Gottfried said. ''But it is a big deal.''
Barber was 11 for 20 while scoring at least 20 points for the fourth straight game for the Wolfpack (10-3).
''Very, very tough to control Anthony Barber,'' Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. ''I thought we had him contained a couple of times, and he was able to evade our guys.''
Freshman Maverick Rowan scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and hit four 3s. N.C. State shot 62 percent in the second half while winning its nonconference finale, and begins ACC play Saturday at Virginia Tech.
''I think we're moving in the right direction going into ACC play,'' Barber said.
Quincy Ford scored 15 points and David Walker had 13 for the Huskies (8-5), who tied it at 57 on a 3 by Donnell Gresham Jr. with four minutes left.
Martin countered with a 3 from the left wing before twin brother Cody Martin pestered Walker on his drive to the rim. Caleb Martin and Rowan then played hot potato with the ball before Martin swished a 3 in front of the N.C. State bench to make it 63-57 with just over three minutes to go.
Abdul-Malik Abu followed with a tip-in and, after Ford's 3-point play, Barber hit two free throws and a layup to push the lead to 69-60 with less than two minutes left. Northeastern never got closer than six the rest of the way.
Abu, who finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, has reached double figures in every game during the winning streak for the Wolfpack, who looked like they might have taken control with 12 straight points midway through the second half.
Rowan hit two 3s during that run before Barber capped it with a layup to put N.C. State up 50-41 with 10 minutes left.
The Huskies tightened things back up with a 13-4 burst, tying it at 54 on Ford's 3 with just under six minutes left.
N.C. State outrebounded Northeastern 20-10 in the second half, and the Huskies got just one offensive board in the final 20 minutes. The Wolfpack finished with a 39-28 advantage on the glass. Northeastern also had three turnovers during the final 9 1/2 minutes, each one coming when the Huskies were down by at least two possessions and were trying to rally.
''At the end of the day, I thought it was their physicality on the backboard and our untimely turnovers that led to the loss,'' Coen said.
Northeastern: The Huskies had their two-game winning streak against Atlantic Coast Conference teams snapped. They beat Florida State last season before knocking off Miami last month.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack improved to 1-1 against the Colonial Athletic Association. They opened the season with a loss to William & Mary.
Northeastern plays at Elon on Thursday.
N.C. State plays at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
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