With Howell contained in the second half, C.J. Leslie scored 11 of his 13 points in the final 20 minutes as N.C. State (21-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) took its fifth win in its last six games. T.J. Warren had 14 points.
With the win, N.C. State moved into a tie with fourth-place Virginia in the race for one of four first-round byes in the ACC tournament. Boston College beat Virginia 53-52 on Sunday.