Eager to put their string of early exits behind them, the Owls raced out early and were up by 16 at the break. The lead grew to 18 in the second half before North Carolina State (24-11) charged back to get within 63-60 on a Scott Wood 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining.
“I really thought we were going to play well, play early,” Wolfpack coach Mike Gottfried. “There was great energy in our locker room, and then we just started slow. We really did fight hard, fought back really, really well. But boy, the start was not good.”
Junior guard Lorenzo Brown scored 22 points to lead four N.C. State players in double figures. Junior forward C.J. Leslie had 20, senior forward Richard Howell added 14, along with a game-high 15 rebounds, and Wood finished with 10 as the Wolfpack shot 70.4 percent from the floor in the second half.
But it wasn’t enough to overcome the will — and accuracy — of the aching Wyatt, who was 8 of 8 from the line after N.C. State got within three.
“He’s as tough a competitor as I’ve ever had an opportunity to coach,” Temple’s Fran Dunphy said. “He’s certainly the guy you want on the foul line. He just wants the moment.”