Reed misses four straight foul shots in last 13 seconds
Braxton Beverley hit one three-pointer all afternoon for No. 21 NC State. Unfortunately for Clemson, it came on the last play of the game.
The Wolfpack point guard drained a triple as time expired Saturday, as NC State stunned the visiting Tigers, 69-67, at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Clemson (11-8, 1-5 ACC) seemed to have the game in hand and was looking for its first ACC road win of the year when Marcquise Reed drained a jump shot from the left elbow of the foul line for a 65-60 lead with 51 seconds to play.
However, the Tigers, usually a good foul shooting team under head coach Brad Brownell, could not make their free throws down stretch. Clemson was just 2-of-8 from the foul line in the final 35 seconds of play.
Clyde Trapp and Shelton Mitchell each made one free throw and then Reed missed four straight in the final 13 seconds, which left the door open for NC State’s dramatic win.
Down six, 67-61, State’s Markell Johnson, who hit two earlier threes, pulled his team with three points when he finished an old-fashioned three-point play following an undisciplined foul from Trapp. That gave NC State hope.
Reed then missed two free throws with 13 seconds to play, and Brownell chose to foul Braxton with nine seconds to play. The guard made both foul shouts to pull the ‘Pack within one point.
Reed was fouled on the inbounds and Clemson’s best free throw shooter went to the line to extend the lead. Instead he missed both shots and with no timeouts, NC State pushed the ball up the floor where Braxton, who was trailing on the play, got the ball and drained a three-pointer off the left wing for the game-winner.
It was a disappointing end for the Tigers, who fought back from eight points down to take control of the game for most of the final seven minutes.
Center Elijah Thomas played a big role in Clemson getting on top. After picking up his third foul early in the second half, he came back into the game with about 13 minutes to play and immediately made an impact.
Thomas scored 11 of the Tigers’ next 15 points, giving his team a 51-49 lead with 6:59 to play. Aamir Simms followed with a layup as Clemson extend its lead to 53-49 with 5:44 to play to close a 12-0 run.
Most of Thomas’ scoring came during the 12-0 run. The senior center finished the game with 18 points and was 8-of-11 from the field.
Reed finished with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Before he missed those crucial last four free throws, the senior was 9-of-10 at the foul line.
As a team, the Tigers were 17-of-26 from the foul line. Coming into the game 14th in the ACC in three-point shooting, Clemson did not help that cause on Saturday as it missed all seven of its attempts from behind the arc.
NC State was 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) from three-point range and was 12-of-13 from the foul line.
Clemson will host Pittsburgh Tuesday at 9 p.m., at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
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