Daniels’ big game leads State rout of UNC Asheville

Utah transfer Devon Daniels scored 20 points, but Wolfpack point guard Markell Johnson was injured in a 100-49 win Tuesday

NC State's Eric Lockett drives to the basket on UNC Asheville's Jeremy Peck during Tuesday's game at PNC Arena (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH (AP) — Utah transfer Devon Daniels scored 20 points as NC State beat UNC Asheville 100-49 on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore had 14 points through two games in a slow start with the Wolfpack, but he made 8 of 16 shots with nine rebounds Tuesday.

N.C. State (3-0) shot 54 percent and led big nearly all night, pushing the margin to 29-7 with 5½ minutes left before halftime to remove all doubt on the outcome.

Still, there were concerns. Starting point guard Markell Johnson left at the 16:24 mark of the first half after being blindsided by a backcourt screen from Jeremy Peck.

Last year’s ACC assists leader was down for a time and wobbly as he was helped off the court. He was quickly ruled out for the game and didn’t return to the bench until the second half.

Tajion Jones scored 21 points for the Bulldogs (1-1).

BIG PICTURE

UNC Asheville: Consider this a teachable moment for new coach Mike Morrell with his young bunch of Bulldogs. Morrell had spent the past seven seasons working under Shaka Smart, first at VCU and then at Texas. He has a group with practically no returning experience; UNC Asheville’s returning players had combined for just five starts and 141 points (5.5 percent of the offense) from last year. UNC Asheville beat NAIA program St. Andrews by 40 last week, but things were predictably overwhelming on the road against an ACC opponent.

N.C. State: Add another lopsided win for a team that outscored its first two opponents 200-104, though Johnson’s departure — along with the recent transfer of freshman forward Ian Steere after 5 minutes of opening-night action — left the Wolfpack a bit shorthanded with nine players for most of this one.