RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State might have found the perimeter shooter it needed.
Freshman Maverick Rowan scored 15 points to help the Wolfpack beat IUPUI 79-56 on Wednesday night.
Anthony Barber added 19 points for N.C. State (2-1), which never trailed.
Rowan made 4 of 9 3-pointers in the second start of his career. He filled in for Terry Henderson, who suffered torn ligaments in his right ankle in the Wolfpack’s season opener.
”Maverick is a fun player,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ”He’s a fun guy to coach. He’s aggressive, he’s tough-minded. He walked in here thinking that he should be starting, no matter what.”
Caleb Martin scored 15 points for N.C. State, and Abdul-Malik Abu had 14 points and nine rebounds. The Wolfpack outrebounded the Jaguars 52-37 but struggled from the free throw line, making just 23 of 39 (59 percent).
N.C. State raced out to a 10-2 lead with two baskets by Barber and never looked back. The Wolfpack stretched their lead to 50-34 early in the second half after a jumper by Barber and a 3-pointer by Rowan.
”Everybody has a lot of confidence in Mav,” Barber said. ”He can shoot the ball. When I see him on the wing, I feel like it’s going to go in if he gets a good look at it.”
Matt O’Leary scored 17 points to lead IUPUI (1-2), which got outscored 32-12 in the paint. Mason Archie II added 11 points.
The Jaguars scored on five consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to 56-47 midway through the second half, but never got closer.
O’Leary kept the Jaguars in it with a hot-shooting stretch midway through the first half. He made three 3-pointers in a four-minute span, cutting N.C. State’s lead to 30-25 with 5:20 remaining.
After a timeout by Gottfried, the Wolfpack answered with an 8-2 spurt. Rowan hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, and Barber made a pair of free throws to close the half.
Darell Combs led IUPUI in scoring in the team’s first two games, but he struggled against a defense that was loaded up to stop him. Combs had just five points on 1-of-11 shooting.
IUPUI was called for 34 fouls compared with 17 on N.C. State. Three IUPUI players fouled out, and four more finished with four fouls.
”We were too intense on really wanting to get that stop and wanting to keep the ball in front of us, and we just got too many fouls,” IUPUI coach Jason Gardner said.
IUPUI: In the first two games of the season, Combs scored 28 of his 37 points after halftime. He managed just three points, all on free throws, in the second half against N.C. State. . The Jaguars have not beaten an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since recording a 96-92 victory at Georgia Tech on Dec. 29, 2001.
N.C. State: Barber had played 79 of a possible 80 minutes entering the game. He left early in the first half after suffering a bloody nose while defending Combs. With the game in hand, he also rested for the last 1:25 of the game. . N.C. State has made 18 of 57 3-point attempts this season, with Martin making 11 and Rowan making seven. Other players on the team are a combined 0 for 10 on 3-pointers.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
”Last Friday, we got carved up like a side of fries,” Gottfried said on bouncing back from the season-opening loss to William & Mary. ”We got a little better on Sunday, and I think we’re a little better today. I do see improvement.”
IUPUI hosts Kentucky State on Saturday.
N.C. State plays Arizona State on Monday in New York.