Playing on his 21st birthday, Julius Hodge scored 17 points to join an exclusive group of Atlantic Coast Conference players, leading No. 19 North Carolina State past Elon, 71-45, last night in the semifinals of the BCA Invitational in Raleigh, N.C.

The Wolfpack (2-0) advanced to the final, where it will play East Carolina (2-0), which edged Oregon State, 64-62.

Hodge now has 1,505 points and 303 assists in his career, becoming the 18th player in the 52-year history of the ACC to record at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Anthony Grundy is the only other N.C. State player to reach those totals.

"He's been so versatile," North Carolina State Coach Herb Sendek said. "He's done everything."

Teammate Ilian Evtimov added 10 points.

* SYRACUSE 71, MISSISSIPPI ST. 58: Hakim Warrick scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half and the fifth-ranked Orange beat the No. 12 Bulldogs in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York.

Syracuse (3-0) will play No. 24 Memphis tonight in the championship game at Madison Square Garden.

Warrick, a 6-foot-8 senior, had six points in Syracuse's 11-0 run to open the second half and the Orange (3-0) stayed about that far in front the rest of the way.

* MEMPHIS 81, SAINT MARY'S 66: Rodney Carney scored a career-high 33 points and the Tigers ended the surprising tournament run of Saint Mary's with the win in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York.

The 24th-ranked Tigers (3-0) will face Syracuse.

Carney, a 6-foot-7 junior, had 20 points in the first half as Memphis took a 42-29 lead. His three-pointer started a 10-0 run that broke a 17-17 tie and he scored six points in a 9-0 run that gave the Tigers a 38-22 lead with 3:17 left in the half.

Saint Mary's (2-1), which beat California in the quarterfinals, was the lone mid-major in the field of 16 to reach the semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

* WAKE FOREST 81, VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 67: Chris Paul scored 16 points despite taking just three shots from the field to help the No. 2 Demon Deacons in the Preseason NIT in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Paul hit 14 of 15 free throws and had five assists for the Demon Deacons (2-0), who head to New York for next week's semifinal matchup with Providence, a 89-52 winner over Pennsylvania.

Justin Gray added 14 points and was one of five Wake Forest players in double figures.

Alexander Harper led the Rams (1-1) with 17 points.

* ARIZONA 83, WRIGHT ST. 66: Salim Stoudamire scored 24 points, including 6 of 9 three-pointers, and the 10th-ranked Wildcats won in Tucson in the second round of the Preseason NIT.

The Wildcats (2-0) play Michigan in the semifinals next Wednesday in New York.

Stoudamire, whose three-point total was one shy of his career best, made six in a row after missing his first one. He was 5 of 6 from three-point range and 6-of-7 overall for 17 points in the first half.