BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — In a four-minute stretch in the second half, N.C. State junior C.J. Leslie showed the strength of his game.
Leslie scored on two strong drives, had an assist on a third basket and then buried a hook shot from the post.
Penn State trailed by seven points before Leslie got rolling. The Nittany Lions were down by 17 when Leslie was done.
"When we needed him to score, he scored," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said.
And Penn State coach Patrick Chambers didnt mince any words about the ACC preseason player of the year.
"He killed us," Chambers said.
In the first two games of the season, Leslie has dominated in stretches in the opening minutes of the 97-59 win over Miami (Ohio) last Friday and at the start of the second half on Thursday.
Leslie has been strong with huge scoring numbers or, for that matter, a lot of shots. Leslie has only taken 13 shots in the first two games of the season.
He had 14 points in the Wolfpacks 72-55 win over Penn State on Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. He scored seven points in the second half, all in that 3-minute and 45-second span to start the half.
"He could score a lot more points for this team but hes such an unselfish guy," Gottfried said.
Leslie finished the game with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. His assists numbers are up through two games, he has five in two games after he had 37 in 34 games last season.
"I know I can score but if I see somebody open, Im going to get them the ball," Leslie said.
Leslies interior passing has been especially good through two games. He fed Rodney Purvis for a layup in the first half and Howell for an easy bucket in the second half on Thursday.
After the freshmen, Purvis and T.J. Warren, carried the offense in the first half, Leslie said he figured it was his turn in the second half.
"We know when we need to step up," Leslie said.
Wood, Brown struggle: N.C. State didnt need big games from veteran guards Scott Wood or Lorenzo Brown to beat Penn State. The Pack was able to beat the Nittany Lions by 17 with eight points from Wood and seven from Brown.
Wood struggled for almost the first 30 minutes of the game. He had his only shot attempt blocked in the first half and had turnover the only other time he touched the ball in the first half.
Wood drained his first shot, a rare two-pointer at 11:42 in the second half, and then hit consecutive 3-pointers, the second from about 25 feet out.
Brown finished the game 1 of 10 from the floor, and 0 for 3 from 3. He did have four assists and four rebounds.
"Both of those guys, I think they are a lot are better than they played, especially early," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said.
Wood did extend his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 29 games.
Giglio: 919-829-8938 or twitter.com/jwgiglio