Last Second Shot Sends Tigers Packing

North Carolina State edged Auburn with a rebound basket in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Daytona Beach, Fla.--A rebound basket with 1.3 seconds by Tracy Smith was the game-winner as North Carolina State edged the Auburn Tigers on Sunday night 60-58.

His shot improved the Wolfpack's record to 4-0 overall and 3-0 at the Glenn Wilkes Classic and wrapped up the Most Valuable Player Award for Smith as he finished the game with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

The game was close much of the night with the Wolfpack leading by a point at halftime. North Carolina State managed to build a 39-28 lead at the 15:39 mark of the second half, but Auburn responded with a 13-2 run to take the lead at 43-41.

Auburn led 49-43 with 8:05 left and had multiple opportunities to build on its lead late in the game, but a pair of three-pointers by the Wolfpack tied the score at 49-49 with 3:59 left.

The Wolfpack pulled ahead 57-56 on a basket and foul shot by Smith with 50 seconds left. With Auburn trailing by two points, a layup by Lucas Hargrove tied the game at 58-58 with 12.4 seconds left setting up the last second victory for the ACC team.

"It is just a heartbreaker," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "We had a chance to win it. They hurt us on the offensive boards tonight. That was the big difference. We got them to miss the first ones and the 50-50 balls they were bigger and stronger.

"We did a good job on Tracy Smith's first ones, but on the second ones he just manhandled us and made the big play at the end," Lebo said. "That was the toughest shot he had of the night and banked it in. Free throw shooting, 5-of-15 in a close game, offensive rebounds, two three second calls in the last three minutes of the game that they called. Those kind of things hurt you."

North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said, "There is no better way to learn how to win a close game than this. We gave great effort the whole night, we kept coming back with fight. We talk about loose balls all the time, and Tracy's basket at the end was a prime example of how we tell them they have to always fight."

In the first half North Carolina State build a 20-11 lead, but the Tigers tied the game at 20-20 with 3:32 left in the half.

Frankie Sullivan, who hit six three-pointers, led the Tigers in scoring with 21 points and was named to the Glenn Wilkes Classic All-Tournament team along with DeWayne Reed. Sullivan scored at least 20 points in all three games in Daytona Beach.

Reed led Auburn in rebounds with eight and scored nine points in 38 minutes. He had four assists and four turnovers.

Hargrove scored nine points for the Tigers who again played without injured starting guard Tay Waller and injured forward Kenny Gabriel.

In addition to making just 5-15 foul shots, the Tigers were 9-23 on threes and hit 41.5 percent from the field.

N.C. State hit just 33.3 percent of its field goals, but had 10 more shots than the Tigers. State hit 5-19 threes and 13-18 free throws.

Auburn was out-rebounded 43-36 and turned the ball over 15 times to 11 for the Wolfpack. Second chance points were a killer for the Tigers who lost that battle 18-4.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 2-3 on season heading into a home game on Wednesday night vs. High Point.

"There is not a lot you can say to them after a game like that," Lebo pointed out. "We had it right there for us to win and we couldn't get the rebound when we needed to, couldn't get a stop when we needed to coming down the stretch. A lot of areas I thought we did well in. I thought we defended pretty well in this game."

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