New York, NY (Sports Network) - Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie would have made the late Jim Valvano proud on Tuesday, as the frontcourt duo combined for 29 points and 23 rebounds to lead No. 25 North Carolina State to a 69-65 victory over Connecticut in the finale of the Jimmy V Classic.
With Valvano's immortal "Don't Ever Give Up" sentiment sewn on the backs of their jerseys, the Wolfpack adhered the former NC State coach's credo.
Howell, who missed part of the first half after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head, finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Leslie added 16 and 13 in the triumph.
Lorenzo Brown checked in with 16 points as well, while Scott Wood netted 13 for the Wolfpack (5-2), who had lost two of three coming in to nearly fall out of the top 25.
Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright netted 19 and 18 points, respectively, as UConn (6-2) had its two-game winning streak snapped.