RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jericole Hellems scored a career-high 23 points and North Carolina State beat Wisconsin 69-54 on Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Markell Johnson finished with 12 points and C.J. Bryce added 11 for N.C. State (6-2). Johnson beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer from midcourt that started the 29-14 run that put the Wolfpack in control and helped them avenge last year's 79-75 loss to the Badgers (4-4) in Madison.
N.C. State hit five 3-pointers during that run — including two by Hellems — and Bryce buried one that put the Wolfpack up 58-44 with 10 minutes left. Wisconsin didn't get closer than nine the rest of the way.
Hellems set a career scoring high for the second straight game, surpassing the previous best of 17 points he set last Thursday in a loss to No. 16 Memphis.
Aleem Ford finished with 13 points, and Kobe King and Nate Reuvers added 11 apiece for the Badgers. They entered shooting 81% from the free-throw line as a team, ranking fifth in Division I, but were just 4 of 12 in the second half and finished at 47%.
Wisconsin: The Badgers, who rank 28th in Division I in adjusted defensive efficiency, struggled against an N.C. State offense that ranks 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency and plays at a much faster pace. Wisconsin allowed N.C. State to score on nine of 11 possessions during that 7-minute stretch midway through the second half that pushed its lead to 14.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack put arguably the ACC’s best sixth man into the starting lineup, giving Devon Daniels his first start since the opener against Georgia Tech in place of Bryce. In six games as a reserve, Daniels averaged 12.8 points. He's the only one of the ACC’s top 25 scorers who typically doesn’t start, and finished this one with six points in 25 minutes.
Wisconsin: Plays host to Indiana on Saturday in its Big Ten opener.
N.C. State: Visits Wake Forest on Saturday in its first ACC road game.