The Tiger’s tourney hopes took a huge hit as North Carolina State surged down the stretch and pulled away for a 69-61 victory over Clemson Thursday night in Raleigh.
Demontez Stitt led the Tigers with 16 points while Jerai Grant added 13. Milton Jennings was one rebound short of a double-double. Jennings finished with ten points and nine rebounds.
The Tigers shot only 37 percent from the field and only 15 percent from three. The Pack shot 40 percent from three on the night. CJ Leslie led the pack with 18 points.
Clemson started fast Thursday night as they ran out to a 10-7 lead on Jerai Grant’s dunk with 14:43 to go in the half. The Tigers went on a 7-3 run and led 17-10 with 10:00 minutes to go on a Demontez Stitt layup.
With 4:19 to go Clemson built the lead to 28-19 on a Milton Jenning shot. NC State went on a 13-4 run to end the half. The Tigers held a slim 34-32 lead at the half.
Andre Young led the Tigers with eight points at the half. Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt each added six in the first half.
Clemson shot 45 percent from the field in the first half and 25 percent from three. NC State led by CJ Leslie’s 14 points shot 42 percent from the field and 43 percent from three in the first half.
With 18:19 to go NC State took the lead 37-36 on a jumper by Tracy Smith. Clemson went on a 8-2 run to take the lead 44-39 on a Milton Jennings dunk with 16:05 to go.
The Pack responded with a 9-1 run to take lead 48-45. The Tigers battled back and regained the lead 53-52 with 8:15 to go on two free throws by Demontez Stitt.
Clemson would never lead again as NC State finished the game on a 18-8 run. The Tigers would get no closer than five in the final five minutes.
The Tigers fell to 17-9 on the season and 6-6 in the ACC. Clemson travels to Miami on Sunday.