TAMPA, Fla. (AP) North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried gave his defense a lot of credit in a road victory over South Florida.
Anthony Barber scored 19 points, BeeJay Anya added a career-high 17 and North Carolina State beat South Florida 65-46 on Sunday.
North Carolina State (6-3) also got 11 points and 14 rebounds from Abdul-Malik Abu.
”One of our better defensive games this year,” Gottfried said. ”I thought we played pretty solid. We didn’t try to get real tricky defensively.”
Barber had 11 points as North Carolina State rolled to a 35-15 halftime advantage.
”You can’t score 15 points in a half and expect to win a game,” South Florida coach Orlando Antigua said. ”Unless you hold the other team to 14.”
Jahmal McMurray had 13 points for South Florida (2-8), which shot 29.5 percent (18 of 61). Jaleel Cousins had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Anya made a hook shot and added a dunk, and Abu got a slam off a nice pass from Barber to help the Wolfpack go up 42-19 five minutes into the second half.
Anya, who spent part of the second half on the bench with three fouls, made it 53-25 on a three-point play with 7:40 remaining.
”BeeJay Anya stepped up and had a great offensive game for us,” Gottfried said.
Abu had a pair of in-close baskets and Caleb Martin hit a 3 during a 10-0 run early on that gave North Carolina State a 15-6 lead.
North Carolina State made just three of 21 attempts from 3-point range.
”We had a lot of shots, a lot of open shots and couldn’t make them,” Gottfried said. ”We scored 65. I thought we could have a lot more if we had made a few.”
Barber made three consecutive baskets that extended the lead to 30-11 with 3:34 left in the half.
South Florida missed 12 straight shots during one stretch in the first half, making just 5 of 28 shots (17.9 percent).
”Considering, going through one of those six-to-eight minute droughts we had in the first half, our guys continued to compete defensively,” Antigua said. ”We missed a ton of easy layups, baskets at the rim.”
North Carolina State: Caleb Martin and Maverick Rowan had made all 46 of the Wolfpacks’ 3-pointers this season until Barber got one early in the first half. Shaun Kirk had a 3 late in the second half off the bench.
South Florida: The Bulls remain one win away from 600 in school history (599-693). USF is 0-3 against Power 5 conferences this season, also losing to Kentucky (84-63) and South Carolina (81-63).
South Florida, which entered as the nation’s worst 3-point shooting team, went 2 for 12. North Carolina State entered ranked 277th in 3-point defense.
South Florida G Roddy Peters left with an injury after scoring two points in eight first-half minutes. … F Chris Perry had just two points, coming on a pair of free throws.
North Carolina State hosts High Point on Wednesday.
South Florida plays the second of three straight games at home Wednesday against Jacksonville.