NC State beat Vanderbilt 84-78 at the Vegas Showdown on Thursday evening, with freshmen Dennis Parker Jr. and Jayden Taylor leading the team in scoring with 18 points each.
Parker came off the bench and successfully made 7 out of 10 shots, including two 3-pointers. They also contributed nine rebounds to assist the Wolfpack (4-0) in moving on to the championship game on Friday against the winner of BYU and Arizona State’s game. In addition, Parker had two assists and two blocked shots. Taylor also made a strong shooting performance, making 6 out of 12 shots with one 3-pointer.
DJ Burns Jr. contributed 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals for NC State. Casey Morsell added 12 points and five rebounds.
Tyrin Lawrence scored 21 points and made seven rebounds and four steals for the Commodores (3-2). They will face the losing team of the night game before the championship tomorrow. Ven-Allen Lubin contributed 16 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Jason Rivera-Torres came off the bench and made three 3-pointers, scoring a total of 12 points.
Burns and Parker combined for a total of nine points, while Morsell contributed eight points. At halftime, NC State was leading with a score of 43-33. In the first half, both teams had a shooting percentage of 41.4% and made only 2 out of 11 attempts from the 3-point range. NC State gained a one-point lead midway through the half with a layup from DJ Horne, followed by another layup from Burns, securing their lead for the rest of the game.
Lubin’s slam concluded an 8-0 streak at the start of the second half and the Commodores were behind 43-41 with 17:12 left. Morsell scored two points from the free throw line and Parker hit a 3-pointer in a 9-0 run, allowing NC State to secure the win.
After the second half, NC State successfully made 6 out of 8 shots from long range, while Vanderbilt only managed to hit 5 out of 11.