Pack escapes with win over Davidson

Gavin Grant calmly sank two free throws with 3.9 seconds left to give NC State a 66-65 win over Davidson on Friday night at the RBC Center.

Down by a point, standing at the free-throw line with two attempts. There's no where Gavin Grant would rather be.

"Deep down I think he lives for that," Ben McCauley. "He comes through in the clutch. It's great to have a guy like that on your team that wants the ball in those particular instances."

For the second time this season, Grant took full advantage of the opportunity. The senior drained both shots to put the Pack up by a point with 3.9 seconds remaining in the game. Davidson had one last chance, and sharp-shooter Stephen Curry got a decent look from near halfcourt that just clanked off the rim to give the Pack a 66-65 win at the RBC Center on Friday night. The play brought back not-so-fond memories of the New Orleans game, when the Pack lost on a last-second heave.

"I thought he made it – I was about to fall down and cry," Grant said. "It was like deja vu."

The win was a big lift for the Pack (6-3), coming through against a battle-tested Davidson team with one of the nation's best scorers in Curry. The Wildcats have battled Duke, North Carolina and UCLA down to the wire this season and are a much better team than their 4-6 record would indicate.

"Our guys played hard, they made plays when they had to," Sidney Lowe said. "Everyone came in and gave us great energy. It's a good win for us against a very good team."

Lowe threw Fells, Grant and Simon Harris at Curry during the game in hopes of slowing down Davidson's dynamic scorer. The trio challenged nearly every shot, but the sophomore still managed 29 points on 10-of-24 shooting.

"I saw that young man growing up when he was a kid and his daddy said that he was going to be a good player," Lowe said. "We already knew that he was, but he certainly proved that tonight."

Apart from Curry, the Pack locked down the Wildcat offense. They shot just 39 percent for the game and didn't get many second chances as State vastly improved its defensive rebounding. Davidson had only four second-chance points and four offensive rebounds on the night, and the Pack out-rebounded the Wildcats by a 40-to-25 margin for the entire game.

"Obviously we boxed out better," Lowe said. "We really went after the ball and went up high and snatched it down. We just really concentrated on that aspect of it."

Grant led the Pack with 15 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the line, as the Pack shot 18-of-21 as a team from the charity stripe. Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley and J.J. Hickson also scored in double figures for the Pack, with 13, 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Pack will have just one day off before coming back to the RBC Center for a home game against Cincinnati on Sunday evening.

"We are going to get a lot of momentum if we can get on a bit of winning streak," McCauley said. "I think we are almost there."


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