UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Dereon Seabron had a career-high 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals to help N.C. State beat Central Connecticut 79-65 on Tuesday night at the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase.
Seabron, who had double-doubles in the first two games of the season, made 8 of 12 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. Terquavion Smith added 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and five assists for N.C. State (3-0). Cam Hayes scored 10 points.
Seabron scored the final five points of the first half before Casey Morsell and Jericole Hellems capped a 10-2 run to open the second with back-to-back 3-pointers and gave N.C. State its biggest lead of the game at 42-35.
Trenton McLaughlin made two 3-pointers 67 seconds apart to pull the Blue Devils (0-3) within a point of the Wolfpack with 9:19 to play but the 6-foot-7 Seabron, who averaged 5.2 points per game as a freshman last season, took over. He used his speed and long frame to continuously get to the rim - both in transition and in the half court - where he consistently finished, was fouled, or both.
He converted a three-point play 13 seconds later and made a fast-break layup 27 seconds after that to spark a 13-0 run to push N.C. State's led into double figures for good. Seabron added three more layups down the stretch, drawing contact on the last of those and hitting the 1-and-1 free throw to make it 74-59 with 1:43 left.
Tre Mitchell had 14 points, McLaughlin scored 13 and Stephane Ayangma added 10 for the Blue Devils.
NC State trailed at halftime 33-32 and struggled from the floor, shooting just 30 percent in the first 20 minutes.
But the Wolfpack improved its shooting in the second half and finished at 45% from the floor, including 11 of 23 3-pointers.
Kevin Keatts' team faces what should be its biggest test of the season Wednesday night against Oklahoma State.