Since N.C. State left for the RBC Center 12 years ago, the occasional game at Reynolds Coliseum has been more of a nostalgic indulgence than a basketball test.
Campbell changed that Thursday night at the Old Barn. N.C. State needed every bit of a career-best 24 points from Lorenzo Brown to turn away the Camels 87-81.
Brown, a sophomore guard, nearly had a triple-double, with eight assists and eight rebounds, in the Pack's third win of the season at Reynolds. It was State's 13th win at Reynolds without a loss since the move off campus in 1999.
"I thought Lorenzo tonight was sensational," State coach Mark Gottfried said. "He penetrated, he got to the rim and controlled tempo for us."
A friendly exhibition between in-state schools it was not. There were three technical fouls during the second half and dueling chants between the fan bases in the crowd of 7,734.
About 2,000 Campbell fans showed up, hoping for a repeat of history. It was 18 years ago, at the same gym, Campbell won its only game against an ACC opponent in 31 tries, a 72-69 overtime win against Les Robinson's Wolfpack.
"They came with a lot of people," Brown said. "At one point, they were louder than we were."
With a talented backcourt of Darren White (25 points) and Trey Freeman (15 points, seven assists) and feisty forward Eric Griffin (five blocks), the Camels had a lot to cheer. They led by five in the first half and fought to a 41-41 tie at the half.
Through seven minutes of the second half, the teams were locked at 56. Then the Wolfpack (9-4) started to take control.
An alley-oop from reserve Alex Johnson to C.J. Leslie at 11 minutes, 34 seconds gave State a 60-56 advantage. Upset at a no-call on Campbell's previous possession, coach Robbie Laing got a technical foul after Leslie's dunk.
Scott Wood (16 points) made both of the technical free throws to push State's advantage to 62-56.
Campbell got back within 62-59, after a technical foul on State guard C.J. Williams, following a Rico Ferguson field goal, but Johnson and Brown led Wolfpack response.
Johnson's steal and layup put the Pack up 75-65 at 6:50. Johnson finished with seven points and three assists.
Campbell (8-6) fell to 1-2 against Bowl Championship Series conference teams, beating Iowa this season and losing at Virginia Tech.
"They're a good team," Gottfried said. "They impressed me."
The way Campbell started, shooting 6-of-8 from 3-point range in the first half, it looked like the Camels would notch another win at Reynolds.
Freeman, 11 points in the half, and Lorne Merthie, three 3s in the first half, were too much for State's defense. The Camels shot 53.6 percent in the half, which was only offset by a 20-10 rebounding advantage for State.
Richard Howell, with 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half, kept the Pack afloat while Campbell kept burying shots. Howell finished with 17 points and a career-high 17 boards.
State finished with a 40-22 rebounding advantage and made more free throws (28) than Campbell attempted (19).
"We're not a great team, we know that, but we're doing some things well right now that we can build on," Gottfried said.