Pack falls apart at Clemson, 60-50

NC State built up a 19-point first-half lead only to give it all back to Clemson, falling 60-50 on Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

NC State barely hung on to a 17-point lead on Sunday. Two days later, the Wolfpack completely gave away a 19-point advantage.

The Pack found itself the victim of the largest ACC home comeback in Clemson history, as the Tigers rallied from a deep first-half deficit to blow past the Pack 60-50 on Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers out-scored the Pack 48-19 to close out the contest.

The Pack, who came out of the gates with its best start in league play, once again allowed a large lead to slip away in a matter of minutes. Most of Clemson's comeback came in the first half, where they cut the 19-point lead down to five points at the half.

The loss throws the Pack back towards the bottom of the ACC standings at 2-4, 12-8 overall. The Pack has another road contest ahead of them this weekend when it travels to Chapel Hill to take on rival North Carolina on Saturday.

For the game, the Pack shot 39 percent from the floor and hit 5-of-16 from behind the arc. Clemson hit 42 percent of its shots and was 4-of-17 from 3-point land. The Tigers dominated the boards, pulling down 11 offensive rebounds on 31 misses compared to just four on 29 misses for the Pack.

Tracy Smith led the way for offensively-challenged Pack, the only player in double-digits for the visitors. Smith scored 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting and pulled down five rebounds. Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown each scored nine while Richard Howell led the Pack with six rebounds but did not score.

Just like its previous outing against Miami, the Pack jumped out to a quick lead. This time the Pack managed to build up a substantial first-half margin, shooting 66 percent 12 minutes into the half to help it lift its lead as high as 19 points late in the half.

But the comeback came fast and furious for the Tigers, who spent the final six minutes of the half shutting down the Pack offense and finding its stroke. The Tigers went from 19 down with six minutes in the half to three down with 30 seconds left. Clemson hit nine of its final 11 shots and only a last-second lay-up by Smith stopped the bleeding for the Pack, allowing them to escape to the locker room with a 34-29 lead.

The Pack got back on track at the start of the second half, aided by two 3s from Scott Wood, but couldn't find a way to build on its lead. The inability to pull ahead would cost the Pack as the offense sputtered and Clemson finished its comeback.

The Tigers turned a 19-point deficit into an 11-point lead in the second half by playing smothering defense. The Pack shot under 30 percent in the final half and fell completely apart over the final minutes, unable to mount any sort of retaliation as the Tigers stole away the lead and marched on to a relatively easy victory.


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