RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Following his worst game of the season, Rashad McCants made North Carolina State pay.
McCants scored 22 points as No. 16 North Carolina posted a 71-64 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the 19th-ranked Wolfpack, who suffered their first home loss of the season.
McCants scored 13 points in the first half, helping North Carolina (17-8, 7-7 ACC) open a 40-27 lead. The sophomore netted just eight points in Tuesday's disappointing road loss at Virginia.
North Carolina State stormed back by scoring the first eight points of the second half before eventually taking a 52-51 lead with 6:22 to play.
Trailing 56-54, the Tar Heels took the lead for good on consecutive 3-pointers by McCants The second was a long fadeaway with 3:04 remaining.
North Carolina started cold in the second half, making just 1-of-7 shots. But the Tar Heels rebounded to hit eight of their final 10 shots to finish at 56 percent (26-of-45).
The Tar Heels swept the season series with the Wolfpack for the first time since 2000-01. North Carolina has swept at least one ACC team since joining the conference in 1953.
Marcus Melvin scored 18 points to lead North Carolina State (18-7, 10-4), which lost for the first time in 15 games at the RBC Center.
North Carolina State senior guard Scooter Sherrill, the Wolfpack's third leading scorer, left the game early in the second half with what appeared to be a left ankle sprain.