Wolfpack Hands Bearcats 85-77 Loss

Dec. 23, 2007

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Wolfpack forward Brandon Costner scored 20 points to lead North Carolina State to an 85-77 victory over Cincinnati Sunday night to stretch its winning streak to three games.

Holding a 60-50 lead with 8:23 left after two free throws by Ben McCauley, sloppy ballhandling by the Wolfpack allowed the Bearcats a chance to get back into the game.

Cincinnati cut the lead to 69-66 on a drive by Deonta Vaughn with 4:40 remaining and 70-67 on a free throw by Marcus Sikes with 3:28 to play. But a two-handed dunk by J.J. Hickson and a layup by Gavin Grant helped hold off the Bearcats.

Grant scored 15 points for N.C. State, while Hickson and Courtney Fells added 14 apiece.

Vaughn had 19 points for the Bearcats. John Williamson had 13 points for Cincinnati, which was making its first trip to Raleigh since 1953.

The Bearcats had won seven of their prior 10 games against Atlantic Coast Conference foes.