RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jericole Hellems led an N. C. State comeback with 22 points, Terquavion Smith added 20 and Dereon Seabron 18 as the Wolfpack dominated after halftime to turn back feisty Bucknell 88-70 on Tuesday night.
The Wolfpack have won 27 of their last 28 home openers against a nonconference opponent, but that streak seemed in doubt during the first 20 minutes.
Starting with a Josh Adoh 3-pointer, Bucknell led all the way up to the final second of the first half, which ended in a 40-40 tie. The Wolfpack started 0-for-10 shooting from the floor, and didn't sink a basket until just over five minutes had elapsed in the game.
Adoh scored 12 points for the Bison. Xander Rice and Andrew Funk added 14 each, and Jake van der Heiden had 13.
The Wolfpack asserted control after halftime, upping their shooting from 39.5% to 53% and forcing 11 turnovers (the Bison had 17 in the game). N.C. State never trailed by more than a basket in the second half, and not for more than seven seconds at that.
The Wolfpack fashioned a 9-2 run early to break away and built a double-digit lead by the 11:27 mark of the second half, which they maintained the rest of the way.
The Wolfpack lost center Many Bates to a shoulder injury in the first few minutes of the game. His status is not yet known.