T.J. Warren was efficient with his shooting, only missing three of the 16 shots he attempted, including going 7-of-8 in the first quarter and 4-of-5 the second half. He also registered 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals on the evening.
“The style of play over here is much more physical than what we’re used to back home,” Warren said. “But my goal is understanding our plays and improving myself as a player.”
Warren, one of three McDonald’s All-Americans signed by the Pack last November, said he is using NC State’s trip to learn as much as possible about head coach Mark Gottfried’s system.
After the game Gottfried complimented Warren on his play so far on the five-game tour.
“T.J. did a really good job for us today scoring a lot of points,” Gottfried said.
The Wolfpack used its up-tempo style to take a 23-11 lead after the first quarter, but Gran Canaria drew within six points, 33-27, with 2:20 remaining in the half. Junior guard Lorenzo Brown gave the Pack some breathing room with a 3-pointer. Consecutive dunks by junior forward C.J. Leslie and Warren helped give State a 12-point cushion, 42-30, at the break.
After only scoring three points in the first half of play, senior forward Scott Wood found his touch from long range in the second half. During the third quarter, Wood connected on three shots from beyond the arch to help extend the NC State lead to 61-49 heading into the final stanza. He would add nine more points in the fourth including a deep three with 2:40 remaining the game.
Leslie closed out the victory with a thunderous put-back dunk of a Brown shot that drew applause from the crowd.
Gottfried was also pleased with the leadership by the returning starters of Brown, Leslie, Wood and Richard Howell.
Brown finished the game with 13 points and eight assists, while Leslie had 10 points and 11 boards. Sophomore forward Thomas de Thaey, who attended prep school in the Canary Islands, added six points and four rebounds.
NC State will take Saturday off before returning to the court on Sunday to face the Gran Canaria Select squad. Game time is 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. Eastern time) also at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.