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T.J. Warren scores career high, NC State downs Wake Forest, 82-67

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NCSU Wake
eFG% 59.3 56.4
Turnover Rate 18.2
Off Reb Rate 39.4 32.4
FT Rate 32.2 66.0

Wake 67 65.9 101.7 124.5
NCSU 82 65.9 124.5 101.7

T.J. Warren scored a career-high 34 points, 23 of which came in the first half, to lead NC State to a mercifully easy victory over Wake Forest. With the win, State is above .500 in league play for the first time this season.

It was obvious quickly that Warren had his A-game--when he is draining threes, it's a pretty clear sign that the rim is looking bigger than usual. He finished the opening 20 minutes 10-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-4 shooting from deep. In his last five games, he is 10-of-18 from beyond the arc, which is perhaps meaningless but from another more rose-colored perspective, perhaps the start to a strong finish.

Wake Forest kept pace for most of the first half thanks to some hot shooting of its own, but that wouldn't last, and as the Deacs went cold from the field, their free throw shooting became a horror show. The Pack did not manage to limit Wake's appearances at the stripe, but the basketball gods smiled on all of us, as Wake hit just eight of 24 FTAs in the second half. Travis McKie, an 82.3% free throw shooter, bricked all four of his second-half attempts. Devin Thomas hit 1-of-7.

The larger story was the overall effectiveness of NC State's offense, which even looked pretty okay when Wake went zone. State's average of 1.25 points per possession is easily its best effort in league play, and its most efficient night since way back in December.