Balanced attack pushes NC State past Vanderbilt

D.J. Burns Jr. scored 14 of his game-high 18 points after halftime and Terquavion Smith scored 16 points to boost NC State to a 70-66 win against Vanderbilt in a Legends of Basketball Showcase game on Saturday night in Chicago.

In the finale of a quadruple header at United Center, NC State (10-3) prevailed behind four double-digit scorers.

Casey Morsell scored 15 points and Jarkel Joiner added 12 for the Wolfpack. Burns finished one rebound shy of a double-double as NC State boasted a 38-30 advantage on the boards.

After Vanderbilt (5-6) went ahead 64-63 on an Ezra Manjon layup with 1:59 to go, a pair of Burns free throws gave the Wolfpack the lead for good. NC State closed the game on a 7-2 run.

Myles Stute led the Commodores with 16 points, while Tyrin Lawrence and Manjon chipped in 12 apiece. Liam Robbins followed with 10 points.

NC State notched five blocks in the game.

The Commodores scored eight of the first 12 points after halftime to take a 46-38 advantage but went cold after that as the Wolfpack responded with a 13-0 run. Morsell scored eight points during the spurt thanks in large part to a pair of treys.

Vanderbilt went ahead 56-55 with 8:12 to play, capping a 6-0 run, setting the stage for a see-saw stretch run. The game featured seven ties and 11 lead changes.

Stute helped Vanderbilt to a 38-34 halftime lead, scoring 11 points while going 3-for-6 from 3-point range before the break. Smith led all scorers in the first half with 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting.

Commodores coach Jerry Stackhouse called timeout with 0.9 seconds remaining in the first half. The strategy paid dividends, as Trey Thomas drilled a 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer.

Jordan Wright (hip) and Paul Lewis (illness) returned for the Commodores after missing the team’s home loss to Grambling State on Dec. 9.

–Field Level Media