Wolfpack flies by Eagles

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

By By AARON BEARD, AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH — Ben McCauley had 15 points and 11 rebounds to help North Carolina State beat Winthrop 74-48 on Tuesday night.
Brandon Costner added 12 points for the Wolfpack (3-0), who led the entire way.
Cameron Stanley scored 15 points for the Eagles (1-4), who fell way behind in the first half and never recovered while shooting 29 percent for the game. Winthrop has won the Big South Conference and reached the NCAA tournament for four straight years, but the Eagles are off to their worst start since going 1-7 to open the 1997-98 season.
The Wolfpack used a 16-2 spurt to lead by as many as 21 points in the first half. N.C. State led 40-24 at the break and never let the lead dip below 13 points the rest of the way.
It was a good way to celebrate a return to the RBC Center for the first time since losing to Duke late in last year’s disappointing season. N.C. State opened on the road for the first time in 11 years with a win at New Orleans, then played its second game at the on-campus Reynolds Coliseum — the Wolfpack’s home before moving here for the 1999-2000 season — against High Point.
N.C. State scored the game’s first five points and led 22-15 with about seven minutes left in the half before putting the game away with its big run. Costner got things started with a dunk off an offensive rebound followed by an assist on a 3-pointer from freshman C.J. Williams.
A few plays later, Costner tipped in a high alley-oop pass from Javi Gonzalez and assisted on a 3-pointer from Trevor Ferguson.
Freshman Julius Mays closed the run with a pair of free throws that made it 38-17 with 2:07 left in the half.
Winthrop managed only a driving basket from Stanley during that 5-minute stretch. The Eagles missed their other six shots and committed two turnovers in what turned out to be the decisive stretch, sending them to their 32nd loss in 36 games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.