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03/03/2013 8:24 PM EST
NC State stays hot, beats Georgia Tech 70-57
NC STATE 70, GEORGIA TECH 57

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) -- Richard Howell scored 18 points - all in the
first half - and North Carolina State continued its late-season
surge in the ACC by beating Georgia Tech 70-57 on Sunday.



With Howell contained in the second half, C.J. Leslie scored 11
of his 13 points in the final 20 minutes as N.C. State (21-8,
10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) took its fifth win in its last
six games. T.J. Warren had 14 points.



With the win, N.C. State moved into a tie with fourth-place
Virginia in the race for one of four first-round byes in the ACC
tournament. Boston College beat Virginia 53-52 on Sunday.



N.C. State led by 14 in the first half. Georgia Tech (15-13,
5-11) fought back to cut the deficit to one point late in the
first half and again early in the second half, but the Yellow
Jackets couldn't complete the comeback.



Georgia Tech had no player in double figures. Senior Mfon Udofia
had nine points in his final regular-season home game. Robert
Carter Jr. had eight points before fouling out with 1:12
remaining. Daniel Miller also had eight points.



Georgia Tech had no answer for Howell in the first half. The
senior scored the Wolfpack's first points on a follow shot,
setting the pace for his role as go-to scorer. Howell had 10 of
N.C. State's first 12 points and had back-to-back baskets to
start a 12-0 run for a 20-10 lead.



Leslie's driving scoop gave N.C. State its biggest lead at
28-14.



Georgia Tech answered with a 16-4 run that included 3-pointers
by Brandon Reed and Chris Bolden. Udofia's 3-pointer cut the
Wolfpack's lead to one point at 34-33 before Warren's layup gave
N.C. State a 36-33 halftime advantage.



With Kammeon Holsey drawing the primary defensive assignment on
Howell in the second half, the Wolfpack struggled to keep the
lead. Holsey had help from another defender when Howell had the
ball near the basket, and the N.C. State junior had no points
and only two field goal attempts in the second half.



Georgia Tech cut N.C. State's lead to 51-49 on a follow-up shot
by Marcus Georges-Hunt with 7 minutes remaining. Leslie answered
with a three-point play on Carter's fourth foul. A driving layup
by Lorenzo Brown and two free throws by Rodney Purvis completed
a 7-0 run that pushed the lead back to nine points at 58-49.



Leslie's jumper gave N.C. State a 61-51 lead.



Tyler Lewis made five free throws in the final minute to protect
the lead.

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