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North Carolina State notches 4th easy win, beats Maine 82-63

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State big man Wyatt Walker figures the Wolfpack's start has been about ''playing against the game of basketball'' to prepare the team for tougher games ahead.

That's probably the only way to look at it, considering the overmatched opponents on the schedule so far are doing little to make the Wolfpack even a little uncomfortable.

Torin Dorn scored 15 points to help N.C. State beat Maine 82-63 on Saturday, a lower-scoring output and victory margin from recent romps but another easy win nonetheless.

C.J. Bryce added 14 points for the Wolfpack (4-0), who had outscored the first three opponents 300-153. On Saturday, N.C. State scored the game's first 15 points and maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the afternoon, leading 48-24 at the break.

And it begs the question: Are these easy wins doing much to prepare the Wolfpack for games such as a Nov. 27 trip to Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and a December visit from ninth-ranked Auburn?

''It's hard to tell right now,'' Bryce said. ''We're not really playing against our opponent right now. We're trying to look at it as we're playing against Duke, playing against (North) Carolina, playing against the bigger schools, and not really playing down to our competition.''

That's where Walker's assessment comes in.

''We're always playing against ourselves, playing against the game of basketball,'' the graduate transfer from Samford said. ''You do have an opponent up there and a score and stuff like that, but there's things you can do.

''If you're winning, up by 30 or 40 points, and you're getting beat on backdoor cuts or you're giving up offensive rebounds, those translate into a game where you might be tied or down some.''

Andrew Fleming scored 19 points to lead the Black Bears (0-4), who had 18 turnovers that led to 27 points for the Wolfpack.

''The start to the game was one of the things we've got to get a lot better at,'' Maine coach Richard Barron said. ''I don't think we were executing our gameplan very well starting out. We also missed some shots, they hit some and those things against a good team can snowball on you pretty fast.''

BIG PICTURE

Maine: The America East program is in six-game road stretch to open the season, and had lost by 13 at Denver, 14 at Utah and 43 at San Francisco entering this game. The good news Saturday was that, after falling in the quick 15-0 hole, the Black Bears played relatively even the rest of the afternoon. And Maine shot 64 percent after halftime to finish at 55 percent for the game.

N.C. State: The victory margins sure look nice. N.C. State beat Mount St. Mary's by 50 points in the opener, then beat Maryland-Eastern Shore by 46 and finally UNC Asheville by 51 on Tuesday night. Throw in Maine, and the Wolfpack's first four opponents entered Saturday with an average national rank of No. 322.25 according to KenPom.

LOOKING GOOD

N.C. State's Markell Johnson also scored 13 points and showed no ill effects after being helped off the court following a hard blindside backcourt pick early in Tuesday's win against UNC Asheville. He hit a 3-pointer for the Wolfpack's first basket, one of four on a day that included a four-point play.

WELCOME BACK

It was a familiar red-clad location for Barron, the first-year Black Bears coach who had coached the Maine women's program from 2011-17 before taking a medical leave. He was an assistant coach for the Wolfpack women's team from 2009-11.

''I've got family at the game, so there's definitely a familiar feel to it,'' Barron said. ''It's just the colors are different. Wearing blue at an N.C. State game is a little different for me, but everything else is great.''

UP NEXT

Maine: The Black Bears visit North Texas on Tuesday.

N.C. State: St. Peter's visits the Wolfpack on Tuesday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Andrew Fleming missed 3-pt. jump shot 0.0
+ 1 C.J. Bryce made 2nd of 2 free throws 5.0
+ 1 C.J. Bryce made 1st of 2 free throws 5.0
  Shooting foul on Isaiah White 5.0
  C.J. Bryce missed layup 5.0
  Bad pass turnover on Sergio El Darwich, stolen by Braxton Beverly 11.0
  Terion Moss missed 3-pt. jump shot 15.0
  Blake Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot 30.0
  Andrew Fleming missed 3-pt. jump shot 37.0
+ 2 Blake Harris made jump shot 1:02
  Braxton Beverly missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:13
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Maine 0-4 243963
home team logo NC State 4-0 483482
Team Stats
away team logo Maine 0-4 62.1 PPG 34.9 RPG 14.7 APG
home team logo NC State 4-0 80.1 PPG 42.4 RPG 15.0 APG
Key Players
0
A. Fleming 13.8 PPG 7.0 RPG 3.1 APG 47.8 FG%
2
T. Dorn 14.0 PPG 7.2 RPG 1.3 APG 48.2 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB