T.J. Warren scored 24 points to help North Carolina State beat UNC Greensboro 68-64 on Monday night.
Anthony "Cat" Barber added 17 points and six assists for the Wolfpack (10-3), who used a big run coming out of halftime to take a 17-point lead then spent the rest of the night watching the Spartans (7-8) chip away at the margin. UNC Greensboro twice got the lead down to a single bucket in the final 4½ minutes, the last time coming on Diante Baldwin's layup with 51.8 seconds left to make it 66-64.
But Warren hit 1 of 2 free throws with 23.4 seconds left, and then the Wolfpack got a key defensive stop when Kyle Cain and Kayel Locke both missed shots in the paint. Barber followed that with another free throw with 8.2 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and essentially seal the win.
Locke scored 19 points and Tevon Saddler added 18 for the Spartans, who were trying to beat their second straight Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. UNC Greensboro had beaten Virginia Tech on the road on Saturday, earning the program's second win in 52 tries against ACC opponents.
They took the Wolfpack right to the end of this one on a testy night that ended with the two teams having to be separated during postgame handshakes. Wolfpack guard Desmond Lee and Barber had traded words with UNC Greensboro guard Jordan Potts on the court during the final minutes.
The Spartans looked headed for a lopsided loss when N.C. State scored on seven straight possessions to open the second half, pushing to a 54-37 lead on Barber's free throw at the 16:03 mark. But after that 16-2 run, the Wolfpack offense slowed and the Spartans began their slow climb back into the game.
N.C. State was coming off a tough loss to then-No. 25 Missouri at home on Saturday night. The Wolfpack led for the first 36 minutes giving up the go-ahead 3-pointer with 55.1 seconds left in a 68-64 loss, snapping a seven-game winning streak.