PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Jarkel Joiner scored 15 points to help North Carolina State beat Butler 76-61 in Friday night’s fifth-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
DJ Burns added 14 points for the Wolfpack (6-1), who shot 44.6% while converting 14 turnovers by Butler into 21 points. N.C. State had five double-figure scorers.
That fits the style coach Kevin Keatts has targeted for the Wolfpack, with the first part of his tenure hampered by an NCAA investigation into the program tied to before his arrival. N.C. State retooled with transfers, notably by pairing Joiner from Mississippi with Terquavion Smith in a backcourt capable of pushing pace and picking up defensively beyond midcourt.
The result here was a loss to third-ranked and reigning national champion Kansas that went to the final minute, followed by wins against preseason Atlantic 10 favorite Dayton and Butler.
N.C. State led 35-22 at halftime and pushed that margin to 20 points midway through the second half.
Chuck Harris scored 20 points while Jayden Taylor had 18 for Butler (4-3), which lost to No. 22 Tennessee in Wednesday’s first round but beat BYU on Thursday.
The game offered a reunion for Butler big man Manny Bates with his former program. Bates spent four seasons with the Wolfpack and was one of the nation’s top shot blockers during the 2020-21 season. But he went down to a season-ending shoulder injury in the first minute of last year’s opener and transferred to Butler.
Bates had eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He shared a quick hug with Keatts in the postgame handshake line.
This marked the 12th and final game of this year’s tournament at the Atlantis resort, with Tennessee beating Kansas to claim the title earlier Friday.