Raleigh, NC – His lone three-pointer of the game was the only one needed, as Braxton Beverly hit the game-winning shot as time expired and led the No. 21 Wolfpack past Clemson 69-67 Saturday at PNC Arena.
The Pack (16-4, 4-3 ACC) was within a possession at 67-64 and called a timeout with 9.7 left. Clemson (11-8, 1-5) fouled right away, not allowing a tying attempt. Beverly hit both free throws, as the Pack got within one with 7.5 left.
The Pack then put Clemson’s Marcquise Reed on the line, and he missed both of his attempts. C.J. Bryce corralled the rebound and found Braxton for the winning shot as the horn sounded.
Before the final basket, the Pack had not held the lead since 8:58 to go in the second half. In the final stretch, the Tigers largest lead was at six points with 24 seconds left, but NC State scored the final eight points of the game and the Tigers missed their final four free throws.
Guard Markell Johnson returned from a three-game absence and led the Pack with 16 points. Bryce finished with 15 points, and is averaging 17.5 points over the last four games. Beverly had 12 on the day.
The game was sloppy at the start, as the two teams combined to shoot just 4-of-15 at the first media timeout, and combined for just eight total points in the first 4:21. The Tigers then hit six of their next seven shots and took a slight 16-15 lead at the midway point of the first half. But the Pack took its first lead since 2-0 at 17-16 at the 9:34 mark, and held the Tigers without a field goal for 8:14, pushing the lead to 25-19. NC State found itself up 30-24 at the break.
The Pack forced the Tigers into nine first half turnovers, and Clemson had only one field goal over the final 11:08 of the half.
The Pack kept the lead through the first half of the second half, until Clemson used a 12-0 run and took a 53-49 lead with 5:44 left. During the stretch, the Pack was held without a point for 5:59, missing six straight shots, and a pair of Beverly free throws made the score 53-51 with 4:45 left.
The Pack got to within one at 58-57 with 3:27 left after back-to-back Johnson three-pointers.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Reed put the Tigers back up four, but Torin Dorn got the score back to within one with 2:25 left. Back-to-back Clemson field goals saw the Tigers go up 65-60 with 51.1 seconds to play, and up by six with both 35 and 24 seconds remaining.
Up Next: The Pack will host #3 Virginia on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.