Funderburk, Bates spark N.C. State in NIT opener


DENTON, Texas — DJ Funderburk and Manny Bates combined for 35 points on 15-of-17 shooting and North Carolina State defeated Davidson 75-61 in a first round NIT game on Thursday night.

Funderburk matched his season high with 21 points, hitting 8 of 10 shots and grabbing seven rebounds. Bates went 7 for 7 for 14 points and had seven rebounds.

Jericole Hellems added 13 points for the Wolfpack (14-10), who improved to 11-2 in the first round of their 13 NIT appearances. They will face in the winner of Friday’s game between Buffalo and Colorado State in the second round next Thursday.

Luka Brajkovic scored 15 points for the Wildcats (13-9), who are now 3-9 in nine NITs. Hyunjung Lee added 13 points, Kellan Graby 12 to surpass 2,000 for his career, and Michael Jones 11.

N.C. State, which shot 36.2% in losing its last game in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, shot 58.8(asterisk) for the game and with seven 3-pointers — in 17 attempts — matched Davidson. However, Davidson put up 24 shots from distance.

The Wolfpack shot 67% (18 of 27) to lead 40-32 at the break.

The tournament, limited to 16 teams instead of 32 this season, is taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area at the University of North Texas Coliseum in Denton and at the Comerica Center in Frisco.

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