RALEIGH, N.C. — T.J. Warren gave North Carolina State the spark his coach wanted to see Tuesday night.
The freshman had season highs of 31 points and 13 rebounds to help the Wolfpack beat Florida State 84-66, a rare easy victory for a team that has spent the past month fighting through down-to-the-wire finishes.
C.J. Leslie added 19 points for the Wolfpack (19-7, 8-5 ACC), which led the entire night to snap a three-game losing streak to the Seminoles. It also snapped a four-game skid against FSU (14-12, 6-7) at Raleigh.
The Wolfpack dominated the boards and got plenty of second-chance baskets to earn a third straight win overall.
Warren, a 6-foot-8 forward, earned his fifth start of the season over fellow rookie Rodney Purvis, who had started all but two games this year. Warren finished 12-of-15 from the field and hit two 3-pointers in 31 minutes.
Warren offered a jolt for a team that had played seven games decided by four or fewer points since a 3-0 league start, with the Wolfpack going 3-4 in those games.
"I felt like our team needed something different in there right now," coach Mark Gottfried said. "I've told all three of those freshmen all year long: for our team to be great, all three of you need to play well. Tonight it just happened to be T.J.'s opportunity, and he was very good."
Warren came in averaging about 11 points and shooting nearly 62 percent from the field with 16 games in double figures. He topped those Tuesday while tying for the third-best scoring total by an N.C. State freshman.
"My confidence, it's always going to stay the same," Warren said. "It's something I can't lose. I just have to go out there and play the game. I've been playing the game a long time. … I just wanted to keep it up."
FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said Warren — who had 20 second-half points — was "a man among boys out there."
"He's a scorer and that's what he does," senior Scott Wood said. "He puts himself in the right position and the right situations to be successful and put the ball in the basket."