In a game where N. C. State's vaunted freshpersons performed a disappearing act, the seniors got it done. Scott Wood buried the game-winning three-pointer with one second left and fellow senior Richard Howell kept N. C. State in the game with a stat sheet stuffing 16-point, 11-rebound, three-assist, four-steal effort, as the Wolfpack snapped a three-game slide with a 58-57 point win at Clemson.
Burger boys T. J. Warren and Rodney Purvis, both of whom can usually be counted on for about 10 points a game, combined for two turnovers and a goose egg on 0-for-4 shooting. But Clemson's Milton Jennings helped them escape goathood, missing the front end of a one-and-one with 12 seconds left to set up Wood's heroics. Lorenzo Brown, who returned to State's lineup after missing over two and a half games due to injury, got a shoulder past his defender and fed Wood, who shed Rod Hall thanks to a Howell screen, for the winning three with one second left.
The last-second YAY! seemed like a fitting end for a State team that has lost two ACC games already this season on buzzer beating tip ins.
Brown had 15 points and four assists to just one turnover in his triumphant return. Clemson was led by Jordan Roper because N. C. State has to surrender someone's career high in every fucking game. Roper had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting and added three steals. He and Howell (7-for-14) were the only players on either team to attempt 10+ shots and shoot 50% in a game that saw neither team break 40% from the field. Jennings was 1-for-6 for Clemson. Calvin Leslie, who did manage a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, was just 5-for-14 from the field and coughed the ball up five times.
Kudos to Mark Gottfried, who frantically screamed for a timeout as Leslie tried to dribble the length of the floor for some one-on-five Calvin being Calvin after grabbing Jennings' missed one-and-one with 12 seconds left. Gott drew some shit up. They actually executed the shit. The shit went in.
It's about time.
Teen Wolf Update: Tyler Lewis started for the Pack but gave way to Brown for most of the point guarding. Lewis played 27 minutes to 20 for Purvis and 13 for Warren, so his good play in Brown's absence seems to have shaken up the rotation considerably. Lewis drained a pair of threes but went without an assist playing off the ball.
Guys Named Devin Update: Apparently Clemson forgot that Devin Booker had 29,000 points in the teams' last meeting, as Clemson did not seem to make a concerted effort to deliver him the ball. He still had a dozen points on 5-for-9 shooting.
D? Def? Defense? Huh? Check This: The Pack held Clemson to 25 second-half points, which I think is about 0.01% of what they normally surrender after intermission but I am not that good at math.
Future Watch: N. C. State sits at 17-7, 6-5, a half game behind UNC for the all-important fourth seed in the ACC tournament. The Pack have the weekday game off to get their legs before hosting cellar dweller Virginia Tech Saturday.