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NC State handles Butler to claim fifth place in tourney

Jarkel Joiner scored 15 points, D.J. Burns Jr. had 14 and the North Carolina State Wolfpack beat the Butler Bulldogs 76-61 in the fifth-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas, on Friday night.

Dusan Mahorcic had 13 points and Terquavion Smith and Jack Clark scored 10 apiece for the Wolfpack (6-1).

Chuck Harris scored 20 points, Jayden Taylor added 18 points and Eric Hunter Jr. finished with 12 for Butler (4-3).

The Bulldogs led 12-7 after Taylor drained a 3-pointer early in the first half, but NC State tied it minutes later.

With the game tied at 20, Burns scored the next five points on a pair of layups and a free throw, and Casey Morsell made a bucket before a timeout.

NC State continued to pad its lead out of the break on layups by Breon Pass, Mahorcic and Clark to make it 33-20.

Butler got its first points in more than six minutes on a layup by Harris, and the Wolfpack went into halftime leading 35-22.

Mahorcic made the first two baskets of the second half to give NC State a 17-point lead, but the Bulldogs responded with two layups by Taylor and a 3-pointer from Harris to get within 42-31 with 15:36 left.

Joiner made a jumper, Morsell and Simas Lukosius traded 3-pointers and Joiner made another basket before and the Wolfpack eventually built their lead to 20 with 10:57 remaining.

Butler started to chip away at the deficit. Hunter hit a pair of 3-pointers, Taylor converted a three-point play and nailed a 3-pointer, and Harris made a jumper to cap a 14-4 run that made it 64-54 with 5:55 left.

Neither team scored for nearly two minutes before Clark drained a corner 3-pointer that ended a Butler field goal drought that lasted 6:19.

The Bulldogs’ Manny Bates hit a layup that made it 67-56, but NC State put it away with two free throws by Joiner and a 3-pointer from Smith.

–Field Level Media

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