RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Devon Daniels is happy at his home away from home.
Daniels scored 23 points to help North Carolina State beat Alcorn State 87-64 on Tuesday night at Reynolds Coliseum.
Markell Johnson added 16 points for the Wolfpack (4-1), who scored the game’s first 11 points on the way to their fourth consecutive win.
Daniels made 9 of 13 shots from the floor for his highest point total since he transferred to N.C. State after his freshman season at Utah. His previous high was 21, which he scored against Western Carolina last season at Reynolds.
“I love Reynolds,” Daniels said. “I like the atmosphere. I like the backdrop.”
Aside from a game or two each season, the Wolfpack play their regular-season home games at 19,722-seat PNC Arena. Tuesday was the second of two straight games at 5,500-seat Reynolds, where Daniels had 13 points in a 95-64 win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday.
“It is a great place to play,” Daniels said. “The fans are more, I wouldn’t say involved, but they’re closer to you. The atmosphere is better, so I like it a lot.”
Jericole Hellems had 12 points and D.J. Funderburk had 10 for N.C. State. The Wolfpack shot 54 percent from the floor and scored more than 80 points for the fifth consecutive game to open the season.
Deshaw Andrews scored 17 points to lead Alcorn State (1-4), which made 8 of 15 3-point attempts. Corey Tillery added 15 points and Troymain Crosby had 11 for the Braves.
The Wolfpack led 44-32 at halftime and opened the second half with a 13-4 spurt to pull away.
Alcorn State: The Braves were short-handed with preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference pick Maurice Howard sidelined by injury for the second consecutive game. But they clawed back after trailing by 20 points in the first half, responding with a 12-1 spurt late in the half. “We just didn’t sustain it,” Alcorn State coach Montez Robinson said. “We have to sustain it a little bit more throughout the whole game. That’s a good team over there: ACC, Power Five. I thought my guys fought all the way through.”
N.C. State: It was another uneven performance for the Wolfpack, who still haven’t put together 40 minutes of consistent effort and efficiency this season. After scoring on 13 of 15 possessions during one stretch in the first half, N.C. State managed just six points in the final six minutes before halftime. “I thought we played good in stretches,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “My team is a little tired.”
C.J. Bryce scored at least 16 points in each of N.C. State’s first four games, but he managed just seven points on 3-of-5 shooting against the Braves. On the positive side for the Wolfpack, point guard Markell Johnson snapped out of his shooting slump by scoring 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. Johnson entered the game having made 8 of 35 field-goal attempts this season.
“I still don’t think he played great tonight,” Keatts said. “I thought he played good. But it was good to see him play better. It was good for him to see the ball go in the hole.”
N.C. State guard Braxton Beverly began each half with a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the period. Those two shots accounted for his only six points of the game. He missed his other five attempts, all from 3-point range.
Alcorn State: The Braves host NAIA member Our Lady of the Lake in their second home game of the season.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack return to PNC Arena on Saturday afternoon to host Little Rock and conclude their season-opening six-game homestand.
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