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Hickson impressive in debut as N.C. State rolls

Nov 16, 2007 - 4:40 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- J.J. Hickson had a debut that he'll never forget.

Hickson scored 31 points without missing a shot in his collegiate debut to lead 22nd-ranked North Carolina State to a season-opening 66-47 victory over William & Mary on Thursday.

Sophomore Brandon Costner added 13, but it was the freshman Hickson who dominated, making half of the Wolfpack's 24 field goals and hitting 7-of-10 from the free-throw line.

A McDonald's All-American as a high school senior, Hickson was a perfect 12-of-12 from the floor to help North Carolina State win its 14 straight season opener.

Hickson set the record for most field goal attempts in a single game without a miss in school history, eclipsing Josh Powell's 10-for-10 performance against North Carolina A&T on December 14, 2002.

"It's not what I expected," said Hickson, who scored the second-most points by a Wolfpack freshman in school history. "Of course, 12-of-12 is always good, but I just came here to have fun and win the game.

"It's not about how many points I get or how many rebounds I get."

Hickson made the most consecutive field goals to start a career of any player in ACC history, topping the 11 in a row that Duke's Cherokee Parks had at the beginning of his career in 1992.

"I like for him to keep that confidence, to feel like he can do it against anyone," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. "That is the way he practices. I am just glad that he came out this first game and had a good game for us."

The 6-9 Hickson, who scored the Wolfpack's first eight points of the second half, is the latest addition to a terrific front court that already boasts Costner, the top scoring freshman in the Atlantic Coast Conference a season ago.

Hickson was terrific from the start, scoring eight points during a 17-5 first-half run that helped the Wolfpack break open a one-point game and take a 39-26 lead into the break.

"It feels good," Hickson said. "It boosts my confidence up a little bit. I still have to learn from my mistakes. I didn't play a perfect game or anything like that. I just want to not make the same mistakes next game, like not getting loose rebounds and things like that."

Laimis Kisielius, who scored 12 points, pulled William & Mary (0-2) to within five points at 49-44 with 8:42 left in the second. However, Hickson continued his dominance and scored nine points during a 17-3 run that put the Wolfpack up, 66-47, and sealed the win.

David Schneider scored seven points for the Tribe, who shot just 29 percent (16-for-54).

    --- --- -----
    WILLIAM & MARY 26 21 47
    NC STATE (22) 39 27 66 FINAL

    Nov 15 8:59 PM


    Nov 15 8:00 PM