Jan. 25, 2011
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Demontez Stitt had 17 points and Clemson overcame a 19-point deficit to defeat North Carolina State 60-50 on Tuesday night.
The Tigers (14-6, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) had lost their past two league games and fell behind 31-12 in the first half.
But two backbreaking runs, including a 16-0 charge after halftime, lifted Clemson to victory.
Stitt took things over down the stretch with nine points in the Tigers’ go-ahead run. Jerai Grant added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Clemson.
Tracy Smith had 13 points to lead the Wolfpack, who scored just 16 points in the second half and made only one basket over the game’s last 8 minutes.
N.C. State did most anything it wanted the first 14 minutes in building its large lead. However, the Tigers turned things around before halftime with a 17-3 charge.
The Wolfpack (12-8, 2-4) appeared to settle themselves after the break as Scott Wood connected on two 3-pointers for a 40-31 lead. N.C. State was still ahead 44-37 with 12 minutes to go when Clemson took control.
Milton Jennings began things with a 3-pointer and Stitt had two consecutive baskets to make it 48-47. After forcing a turnover, Grant had a putback on a missed shot and was fouled for the go-ahead three-point play.
Stitt added a three-point play, two foul shots and a layup, Devin Booker scored on a breakaway jam and the Tigers were up 59-48.
N.C. State could not respond, falling to 0-3 in ACC road games this season.
The Wolfpack’s only true victory on an opponent’s homecourt this season came last month at Elon. However, they ended a two-game losing streak by defeating Miami last Sunday and seemed to carry that success into Littlejohn Coliseum.
They hit five of their first six shots and were shooting 66.7 percent on the way to a 31-12 lead on Ryan Harrow’s jumper with 6:08 left in the first half.
For a while, it looked like the biggest cheer at Littlejohn was when former football great and 2009 ACC player of the year C.J. Spiller was introduced.
But whatever Clemson coach Brad Brownell said in a timeout after Harrow’s bucket had a quick impact.
Bryan Narcisse put back Stitt’s miss and moments later Jennings hit a 3 that got the crowd roaring. By the time the half was ended, the Tigers had used a 17-1 run to cut the Wolfpack lead to 32-29.
N.C. State’s Smith hit a short shot in the lane with a second left in the half for a five-point lead.
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