The moment came when the outcome already was decided, yet that hardly mattered to North Carolina State's Ilian Evtimov. Looking over at the...
RALEIGH, N.C. — The moment came when the outcome already was decided, yet that hardly mattered to North Carolina State’s Ilian Evtimov.
Looking over at the players for No. 12 George Washington, he saw the body language of an opponent that knew it was beaten.
“That’s such a good feeling to get when you’re on the court, and you’re doing that to the other team,” Evtimov said. “And you know that even though you’re ahead, you’re stomping and you keep playing hard, you keep playing defense.”
Cameron Bennerman led five players in double figures with 17 points, Cedric Simmons got his second career double-double and the 19th-ranked Wolfpack gave the Colonials their first loss of the season, 79-58 on Friday night.
Simmons had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks and point guard Engin Atsur tied a career high with nine assists for N.C. State (11-1), which gave coach Herb Sendek the best start of his nine-year tenure. The best field-goal percentage defense in Division I limited the Colonials (8-1) to 31 percent, by far their worst effort of the season.
“They’re one of the best teams in the country, and it shows in almost every statistical category,” George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said. “They’ve got a heck of a basketball team.”
Carl Elliott had 14 points for the Colonials, and leading scorer Danilo Pinnock finished with 11, about five points below his average. Transfer Regis Koundjia, eligible after arriving from LSU, had nine points before fouling out in his debut.
“It’s been a long time — it seems like longer than a year and a half,” Koundjia said. “My first game is our first loss. I wanted to help the team win, so I’m disappointed.”‘
Perhaps a 12-day layoff might explain part of GW’s problems, but the Wolfpack did its part, too. It was its first home victory over a ranked, nonconference opponent since Feb. 8, 1986, when it beat No. 16 Louisville 76-64 under coach Jim Valvano.
“We had a great understanding of what we were trying to accomplish,” Sendek said. “But we do understand we have a long way to go.”
North Carolina State built a 34-22 lead at halftime.
Atsur said, “We were really on top of our assignments. We just shared the ball well, and when we do what our coach tells us to do, we find easy baskets.”
At No. 2 Connecticut 111, Quinnipiac 75
Hilton Armstrong scored a career-high 26 points and Craig Austrie set a UConn freshman record with 14 assists to lead the Huskies (11-0) over the Bobcats (5-5).
At No. 4 Memphis 90, Purdue 70
Joey Dorsey collected 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Tigers (11-1) over the Boilermakers (6-5). Memphis has won eight in a row.
At No. 5 Florida 84, Florida A&M 47
Joakim Noah scored 18 points and Chris Richard had 13 points and nine rebounds as the Gators (12-0) routed the Rattlers (4-8) and extended the best start in school history.
At No. 6 Illinois 84, Tennessee-Martin 46
James Augustine scored 19 points and his 11 rebounds made him Illinois’ career leader. Rich McBride scored 21 points, all on three-pointers, as the Illini (14-0) beat the Skyhawks (5-5).
At No. 15 Texas 110, Prairie View A&M 38
Brad Buckman returned after missing two games with a knee injury and scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Longhorns (10-2) to a rout of the Panthers (3-7).
P.J. Tucker scored 26 points for Texas.
No. 18 Kentucky 71, Ohio 63
Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley had career highs of 23 and 16 points, respectively, as the Wildcats (9-3) beat the Bobcats (6-2) in Cincinnati.
At No. 22 Wake Forest 87,
Charleston Southern 47
Shamaine Dukes scored 11 points and tied Wake Forest’s freshman record with 10 assists in his first start as the Demon Deacons (10-2) disposed of the Buccaneers (5-6).
At No. 25 West Virginia 80, Canisius 68
Kevin Pittsnogle scored a career-high 34 points as the Mountaineers (8-3) beat the Golden Griffins (1-8).
Canisius outscored West Virginia 29-8 in the final 11 minutes.