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Clemson Basketball

Late Rally in Raleigh not enough; No. 17 Clemson falls 78-77

January 11, 2018
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It might have been known as the "Rally in Raleigh", but instead Clemson became another victim of the home court advantage of Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Entering tonight's game, only seven ACC teams had won road contests in league play. That trend continued as Clemson (14-2, 3-1) became the Wolfpack's second consecutive top 20 victim in a wild finish, 78-77.

Entering tonight's game, only seven ACC teams have won road contests in league play. That trend continued as Clemson (14-2, 3-1) became the Wolfpack's second consecutive top 20 victim in a wild finish, 78-77.

Earlier in the week, NC State (12-5, 2-2) knocked off Duke, who was ranked No. 2 at the time, 96-85 in PNC Arena. Much like that game, tonight's battle had the makings of big Wolfpack win, but a late run by Clemson created quite a finish.

NC State controlled the game most of the night, and while the Wolfpack often held a double-digit lead, Clemson's largest lead stood at just three points late in the first half. 

With just over six minutes remaining, trailing 61-54 Marcquise Reed, who led the Tigers with 16 points, was fouled shooting a three. The junior promptly knocked down all three shots trimming the Pack lead.

Clemson continued to close the gap, but State's leading scorer Omar Yurtseven always had an answer. The big man from Istanbul, went to work in the paint with a rolling hook shot boosting the Wolfpack lead to 66-57. Moments later a Torin Dorn three pushed State's lead to the largest of the game, 69-57 with just 3:28 left.

That's when things got interesting. 

After trading several baskets, Clemson still trailed by 12 points with just 1:33 left, but the Tigers closed the game on a 16-5 run making things tight at the end.

Down 73-61, David Skara was fouled shooting a three and hit the first two free throws. His third attempt missed, but Shelton Mitchell came down with the ball and knocked down a three giving Clemson a five-point trip, quickly narrowing the score to 73-66.

Clemson fouled quickly and Allerik Freeman went 1-2 at the stripe. Donte Grantham hit a three drawing the score to 74-69 with :54 seconds left. Grantham had a good night for the Tigers scoring 16 points to go along with 9 rebounds.

Clemson sent Freeman back to the line, and this time he missed the first attempt of a one and one. Clemson rebounded into the open court and Reed found Elijah Thomas for a layup with 32.8 remaining.

With the score 74-71, NC State's Dorn attempted a bounce pass on the inbounds, but the ball hit out of bounds. 

The officials missed the call, and the ball went back out of bounds off of a Clemson defender.

On the next inbounds play, Clemson's defensive pressure forced a traveling violation giving the Tigers the ball and hope.

However, down three, Clemson couldn't take advantage as Mitchell's inbounds pass was high, and was tipped into the hands an alert Pack defender who pushed it ahead to a Yurtseven who slammed home his career-high 29th point of the night.

With the score 76-71 and just twenty-one seconds on the clock, Clemson's chances seemed slim.

DeVoe caught the inbound pass in the corner, put up a quick shot and was fouled on the play, sending him to the line with a chance to tie the score with 0.2 seconds on the clock.

The Tigers weren't done as David Skara slipped in a bucket with ten seconds remaining. Clemson fouled again and NC State hit both free throws making it 78-73 with nine seconds left.

Mitchell drove the lane, missed a layup, but Gabe DeVoe cleaned up the miss making it 78-75.

Once again, the Wolfpack attempted a bounce pass on the inbounds, but this time the referee noticed and the turnover gave Clemson one final chance with 1.3 seconds left.

DeVoe caught the inbound pass in the corner, put up a quick shot and was fouled on the play, sending him to the line with a chance to tie the score with 0.2 seconds on the clock.

DeVoe hit the first two free throws before Wolfpack coach Kevin Keats called a timeout in hopes to ice Clemson's guard.

DeVoe, who missed three free throws earlier in the game, sent the game-tying attempt off the left side of the rim, sending the Tigers home with a hard-fought road loss. 

Recently, Clemson had been good from the line shooting 87 percent from the line the past five games, but tonight the Tiger hit just 15-22 from the line, 68.2 percent. DeVoe was 3-for-7.

The story of the game turned out to be the turnover margin. Clemson had also been sharp in that department, but tonight Clemson committed 17 turnovers to NC State’s four. Eleven of those turnovers were Wolfpack steals.

The Tigers will have an extremely quick turnaround as they face No. 18 Miami on Saturday afternoon back in Littlejohn.

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Late Rally in Raleigh not enough; No. 20 Clemson falls 78-77

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