POSTED JAN. 21 AT 1:30 P.M.
With a four-point lead and 27 seconds remaining in overtime, the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team looked poised to leave Raleigh, N.C. with a hard-fought Atlantic Coast Conference win against N.C. State.
But, in a matter of seconds, the Wolfpack stole victory from the Hurricanes, 79-77, dropping the Canes to 14-3 and 1-2 in the ACC.
The Wolfpack (12-5, 1-3 ACC) sank a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining, cutting Miami’s lead to one. After senior Anthony King split a pair of free throws, N.C. State scored on a tip-in basket to tie the game at 77. Trying to inbound the ball, King made a poor pass that was stolen by Wolfpack guard Gavin Grant, who made a lay up to give N.C. State a two-point rally win in overtime.
Miami has now dropped two straight ACC games, and nine road conference games dating to last year.
“I thought it was a real hard-fought game, a tough game,” Head Coach Frank Haith said. “Our kids really played their hearts out in the second half. It’s always tough on the road.”
The Wolfpack didn’t score in overtime until the last twenty seconds, when they scored seven points.
All this came on leading scorer Jack McClinton’s birthday, who scored 24 of his 26 points after halftime. For 13 straight minutes in the second half, McClinton didn’t miss a shot, hitting seven consecutive shots and a pair of free throws.
However, that was not the case in the first half. McClinton was held to only two points, going 1-of-7 from the field. His poor performance dragged on Miami, and the Canes trailed 36-27 going into halftime. The Wolfpack built that lead by shooting 52 percent from the field and making five three-pointers. Miami shot 36 percent and made no three pointers.
But the Canes began to scrap back in the second half.
Miami started to pass inside to their big men, something they could not execute in the first half. Lay-ups by forwards Raymond Hicks and Jimmy Graham anchored a 10-0 run to put the Wolfpack in trouble.
“We wanted to get the ball inside against them,” Haith said. “That was our game plan. I thought our inside guys did a really good job of attacking their big [guys], and getting the ball into the post.”
McClinton made Miami’s first three-pointer of the game with 11:53 in the second half. Twenty seconds later, McClinton made another three-pointer to give the Canes their first lead of the second half, 51-50.
Still, the Canes could not stop N.C. State from the three-point line, as the Wolfpack set a season high with 11 three-pointers. The barrage of threes was just too much to overcome.
“I thought our guys were really trying to find a way to fight through it,” said Haith. “We just didn’t come out on top.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at email@example.com.