By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. – Julius Hodge scored 21 points and Marcus Melvin added
20 as North Carolina State rebounded from arguably its worst loss of the season
by beating Florida State 71-60 Tuesday night.
The Wolfpack (14-8, 7-4), which lost to Temple by 22 on Saturday, moved into
a third-place tie with No. 8 Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference, one game
behind league leader Maryland. The Blue Devils host the 13th-ranked Terrapins
on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the Seminoles (12-11, 3-9) extended their ACC road losing streak
to 14 games and lost their ninth straight against the Wolfpack, making just one
basket over an 11-minute stretch of the second half.
Tim Pickett led the Seminoles with 20 points.
N.C. State, which improved to 6-0 at home in ACC games, played the second
half without starting center Josh Powell, who was sidelined with back pain.
Anthony Richardson led Florida State in scoring two of the last three games,
but picked up three quick fouls and sat out the final 6:44 of the first half.
He finished with just nine points.
Melvin and Hodge, both in a four-game shooting slump, combined for 25 of
N.C. State’s 37 first-half points, going 9-for-13 from the field.
The Wolfpack then used an 11-2 run early in the second half to open a
double-digit lead. Hodge, Clifford Crawford and Levi Watkins sank 3-pointers in
the spurt that gave N.C. State a 54-42 lead with 12:37 left.
Florida State pulled within eight with 4:54 remaining before Hodge made two
free throws and a layup. Melvin followed with a 3-pointer to open up a 15-point
Melvin started hot with eight in the opening 8:56, while Hodge closed the
half strong with two driving bank shots and a layup as the Wolfpack went up
37-30 at the break.
The Wolfpack, averaging 24 3-point attempts over the last four games, took
just six from beyond the arc in the opening half, concentrating on driving the
ball more to the basket. It worked as N.C. State shot 52 percent in the opening