RALEIGH (AP) — Devon Daniels made himself comfortable in North Carolina State’s second home.
Daniels scored 16 of his season-high 21 points in the first half to help N.C. State beat Western Carolina 100-67 on Wednesday night.
Freshman Jericole Hellems added a season-high 16 points for the Wolfpack (8-1) in their only scheduled home game of the season at Reynolds Coliseum.
Daniels, a transfer from Utah, scored more than 10 points just once in his first eight games at N.C. State. But he made 8 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 5 3-pointers, against the Catamounts.
“I was just overthinking it,” he said. “When I just settled down, kept it simple and trusted the offense, it came a lot easier.”
Blake Harris scored a career-high 15 points and Torin Dorn had 12 points for N.C. State.
The Wolfpack shot 54 percent from the field and made 11 of 23 3-point tries. They led 45-33 at halftime and pulled away by scoring the first 12 points of the second half.
“I love my team,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “I told you guys at the beginning of the year that the thing that stands out about this team is the versatility of it.”
Carlos Dotson led Western Carolina (2-8) with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Matt Halvorsen had 16 points and Marcus Thomas had 13 for the Catamounts.
Western Carolina: The Catamounts, who were coming off a 90-88 loss in double overtime to No. 25 Furman, played hard again. But as they have for most of the season, they struggled to take care of the ball. Western Carolina committed 33 turnovers and had just nine assists. “N.C. State is relentless with their pressure,” Western Carolina coach Mark Prosser said. “It has that cumulative effect where eventually it starts to break you down, and they did that in the second half.”
N.C. State: The Wolfpack dispatched another overmatched opponent in routine fashion. Daniels made some difficult shots as guards Markell Johnson and Braxton Beverly sat with foul trouble in the first half, showing that he can create his own offense.
JIMMY V HONORED
In a pregame ceremony, N.C. State formally named the arena at Reynolds Coliseum after former coach Jim Valvano, who led the Wolfpack to the 1983 NCAA championship. His teams went 121-37 at Reynolds Coliseum, which was N.C. State’s full-time home when he coached there.
Valvano, who founded the V Foundation for cancer research, died of cancer in 1993 at age 47.
“I think everybody knows about his story,” Daniels said. “But to actually play for the school that he represented, it’s like a different meaning. You can definitely tell the impact that he’s had on the community.”
HE SAID IT
“Every time that speech comes on, I cannot turn it off. I’ve got to listen to it. I’ve listened to it probably 2,000 times, and it’s one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. The reason being is during his times of struggle, all he could think about was helping somebody else.” — Keatts on Valvano’s famous “Don’t Give Up” speech
DRESSED TO THRILL
Keatts wore a red suit with black Gucci loafer, and each shoe featured a red wolf head prominently on the front. Keatts credited assistant coach Takayo Siddle for finding the shoes. “As you guys know, I’m a shoe guy, and I had to have them,” Keatts said. “I thought this was a special moment to pull them out.”