Tigers Lose a Heartbreaker, 80-79

After blowing a 5-point lead with just over a 2 minutes remaining in the game, Tony Stockman hit a drifting shot in the lane to put the Tigers ahead 80-79, but it wasn't enough. Josh Powell tipped in a miss with 2 seconds left to pull off a miracle win for the Wolfpack in Littlejohn Coliseum.

North Carolina State got off to a slow start early Tuesday evening, but it sure didn't last long.

Trailing 15-7 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half, the Wolfpack would make 11 consecutive field goals to surge ahead by 14.

"They buried a lot of three's early and we had a lot of turnovers, but they have a great press, said Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt.

N.C. State would hold on to carry 44-33 lead into halftime, but the Tigers would rally early in the second half to make it a ballgame again.

Tony Stockman ignited several mini-runs to pull the Tigers back to within 3 midway through the 2nd half, as the Tigers weren't finished jsut yet.

"I thought our whole team played inspired and smart in the second half. We took very good shot selection, we did some good things to overcome a 14-point deficit. Grundy wanted to be the hero, and he missed it, and if it bounces anywhere else, we are probably celebrating right now," said Larry Shyatt.

"We made sure we were in attack mode in the second half, and if you noticed, once we scored 3 or 4 times on it in the second half, their coaching staff had enough of it for a little bit."

Anthony Grundy drives against Thomas Nagys. (AP, Chastain)
Clemson would actually go up by 5 points with just over 2 minutes remaining by pounding the ball into Chris Hobbs and Ray Henderson. The 5-point lead ended a run of almost 8 minutes where the lead was exchanged 12 times between the two teams.

However, Scooter Sherrill hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game on an inbounds play with just 4 seconds remaining on the shot clock to bring the Pack within striking distance.

With 48 seconds remaining, the Wolfpack had the ball trailing by just 2 points. N.C. State guard Anthony Grundy would make a reverse layup and get fouled to put the Wolfpack up by 1 point with only 34 seconds left.

Tony Stockman would then make a drifting, line-drive shot in the lane with only 10 seconds left to put the Tigers back on top by 1, but in the end, it wouldn't be enough.

Grundy dribbled the length of the court and put up a shot that was missed. Josh Powell then was able to tip it in from 2 feet out to give the Wolfpack the lead and the win.

"Grundy made a play in the end, but in the course of him missing that shot, they were there for the tip-in. That ball could have bounced anywhere, thats how close that game was," said Shyatt.

Clemson falls to 11-7 and 2-3 in the ACC. The Tigers next game will be this Saturday at Maryland.

Box Score
NO CAROLINA ST (80)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Evtimov         21   3-6   2-2   2-3  2  4   11
Hodge           16   2-5   0-0   1-1  1  3    5
Powell          24   3-7   0-0   2-3  0  1    6
Miller          32  4-10   0-0   0-1  4  1   10
Crawford         9   0-1   2-2   0-2  0  4    2
Grundy          31  9-14   1-1   1-4  7  3   22
Roach            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Sherrill        27  6-10   2-2   0-1  5  0   19
Collins          9   0-0   0-1   0-0  0  0    0
Melvin          30   1-4   2-4   0-3  1  1    5
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-57  9-12  6-18 20 17   80
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.491, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 15-31, .484 (Evtimov 3-5, Hodge 1-2, Powell 0-1, Miller 2-7, Grundy 3-6, Sherrill 5-7, Melvin 1-3). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 12 (Grundy 3, Evtimov 2, Powell 2, Crawford, Hodge, Miller, Sherrill). Steals: 7 (Grundy 3, Crawford, Melvin, Miller, Sherrill).


CLEMSON (79)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Mcknight        35  7-12   2-2   1-4  2  3   18
Hobbs           33   7-9   2-3   1-8  0  3   16
R Henderson     30   4-5   3-4  1-10  0  2   11
Stockman        31  6-11   3-5   2-3  2  0   18
Scott           37  5-10   0-0   0-2 13  4   10
Nagys           15   0-0   4-4   1-2  0  4    4
Ford             4   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    2
Babalola         2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Christie         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Clifton         12   0-0   0-2   0-0  2  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 30-49 14-20  6-29 19 17   79
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.612, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals:
5-12, .417 (Mcknight 2-5, Stockman 3-4, Scott
0-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 4 (R
Henderson 3, Ford). Turnovers: 17 (Hobbs 3,
Mcknight 3, Scott 3, Nagys 2, R Henderson 2,
Stockman 2, Clifton, Ford). Steals: 8 (Hobbs 3,
Nagys 2, Clifton, Scott, Stockman).

Technical fouls: None.  A: 8,500. Officials: Duke
Edsall, Larry Rose, Bryan Kersey.
Team1st2ndTotal
No Carolina St  44  36 80
Clemson  33  46 79

Larry Shyatt Quotes:
"It was a difficult for either ballclub to lose. Both teams gave their heart and soul. Those last two minutes, I'm disapointed we gave the layup to Grundy. Tony took his best shot, his curl shot in the lane and it went in."

"You know we had that lead, and they had it out-of-bounds with 4 seconds on the shot clock. They made 15 3-pointers, they've shocked some people on the road, and we felt like we gave it our best shot. We stayed in the zone, we stayed with our principles and they make some big shots."

"It was a whale of a game. We felt like we could get this game, it just didn't happen tonight."

Other Notes:
The Tigers shot 61% in the loss. Tony Stockman and Jamar McKnight led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points each.

N.C. State improves to 13-4 overall, and 3-2 in the ACC on the season.

The Tigers outrebounded N.C. State by 12.

All 5 Tiger starters were in double digits, and North Carolina State is probably the one team in the ACC that I wish we'd beat like a drum.

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