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Last Second Loss Sends Tigers Reeling


  by Dan Scott - Correspondent - Tuesday, January 15, 2002 10:08 PM
    |

CLEMSON - Freshman Josh Powell's putback of an Anthony Grundy miss with :02.1
to play gave North Carolina State a stunning 80-79 victory over Clemson
Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.


Powell's heroics capped off a frenetic final two minutes for both teams, and
ultimately saddled the Tigers (11-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) with
their first back-to-back losses of the season. The Wolfpack improves to 13-4
(3-2), and has won four of its first five road games for the first time since
1975-76.


"I'm extremely disappointed," Clemson coach Larry Shyatt said. "The players,
this one hurt them. This is one we thought we could get."


It looked for a moment as if Clemson just might.


After squandering a five-point lead with under 2:00 to go, Tigers' guard Tony
Stockman appeared ready to wear the laurel of hero. With his team trailing
78-77, Stockman drove to the foul line from the left wing and put up an
off-balance, one-handed runner against a double team that connected with
:10.8 to go.


Out of timeouts, State rushed the ball inbounds to senior Anthony Grundy, who
drove to the right block, pump-faked Ray Henderson into the air and put up a
shot off the glass that missed. But Powell was able to get free for the
game-winning tip when Clemson's Jamar McKnight was forced to defend Grundy
after the fake.


Stockman's three-quarter court prayer at the buzzer drew glass, but nothing
else.


"I knew we didn't have any timeouts," Grundy said. "I was just trying to get
(the ball) to the rim as quickly as possible, and things worked out for us."


Though he didn't hit the game-winner, Grundy played a major role in State's
victory. After starting the game on the bench for disciplinary measures,
Grundy's insertion into the lineup provided the Wolfpack with a much-needed
spark in the first half.


But his two biggest plays of the game came inside the final 4:00.


After three straight baskets in the paint gave Clemson a 71-69 lead with 4:10
left, Grundy (22 points) immediately answered with a 3-pointer that put State
back on top by one.


Then, after missing a 3 that would have tied the game at 75-75, the senior
did himself one better. Working without the ball and his team trailing 77-75,
Grundy made a backdoor cut on McKnight along the baseline and got free for a
layup. He was fouled in the process, and hit the free throw for a 78-77
Wolfpack lead with :34.8 to play.


"When the team needs me, or when we need a big play, I try to be somewhere or
be in the right place with the ball," Grundy said. "It's something the team
needs and I try to be that guy."


"He was very determined and focused to show something when he came into the
game," said State coach Herb Sendek. "That's the Anthony Grundy we need night
in and night out."


The dramatic last-second defeat overshadowed a fine second-half effort by the
Tigers.


Trailing by 11 at the break, Clemson fought its way back into contention by
virtue of a balanced scoring attack. All five starters - Ed Scott (10),
Stockman (18), McKnight (18), Henderson (11) and Chris Hobbs (16) - finished
in double figures.


The Tigers also took markedly better care of the basketball. After having
just six assists and 13 turnovers at the break, Clemson finished with 19 and
17, respectively, eventually forcing the Wolfpack to abandon its fullcourt
press.


"We not only had to concentrate on coming back, but we had to do it with a
degree of poise," Shyatt said. "I'm proud of that. I'm not proud of the
result."


Clemson trailed 44-33 at the break despite shooting 75 percent (12-16) from
the field and hitting 7-of 8 free throw attempts.


But the Tigers' 13 turnovers against the N.C. State press led to 20 Wolfpack
points. After trailing early 15-7, State capitalized on the mistakes and an
incredible succession of 3-point shots to take control of the game.


Three consecutive treys capped off a 19-2 run that put the Wolfpack up 26-17.
N.C. State hit two more 3s in a row before finally missing one, and ended the
half 10-of-19 from behind the arc.


Sherrill finished the half with 11 points (19 for the game), while Grundy
came off the bench to score nine.


BOX SCORE

No Carolina St (13-4)	 44 	 36 	80
Clemson (11-7)      	 33 	 46 	79

No Carolina St
PLAYER      	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
I. Evtimov      21	3-6	2-2	2	3	2	4	11
J. Hodge        16	2-5	0-0	1	1	1	3	5
J. Powell       24	3-7	0-0	2	3	0	1	6
A. Miller       32	4-10	0-0	0	1	4	1	10
C. Crawford     9	0-1	2-2	0	2	0	4	2
A. Grundy       31	9-14	1-1	1	4	7	3	22
W. Roach        1	0-0	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
S. Sherrill     27	6-10	2-2	0	1	5	0	19
J. Collins      9	0-0	0-1	0	0	0	0	0
M. Melvin       30	1-4	2-4	0	3	1	1	5
Totals        	200	28-57	9-12	6	18	20	17	80
                	.491	.750	 
TEAM REBS: 2
TURNOVERS: 12 (Grundy 3, Evtimov 2, Powell 2, Crawford, Hodge, Miller, Sherrill)
BLOCKED SHOTS: None
STEALS: 7 (Grundy 3, Crawford, Melvin, Miller, Sherrill)
3-PT FGS: 15-31, .484 (Evtimov 3-5, Hodge 1-2, Powell 0-1, Miller 2-7, 
Grundy 3-6, Sherrill 5-7, Melvin 1-3)

Clemson
PLAYER  	MIN	FGM-A	FTM-A	OFF	REB	AST	PF	PTS
J. McKnight     35	7-12	2-2	1	4	2	3	18
C. Hobbs        33	7-9	2-3	1	8	0	3	16
R. Henderson    30	4-5	3-4	1	10	0	2	11
T. Stockman     31	6-11	3-5	2	3	2	0	18
E. Scott        37	5-10	0-0	0	2	13	4	10
T. Nagys        15	0-0	4-4	1	2	0	4	4
S. Ford         4	1-1	0-0	0	0	0	1	2
O. Babalola     2	0-1	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
C. Christie     1	0-0	0-0	0	0	0	0	0
D. Clifton      12	0-0	0-2	0	0	2	0	0
Totals   	200	30-49	14-20	6	29	19	17	79
                  	.612	.700	 
TEAM REBS: 3
TURNOVERS: 17 (Hobbs 3, Mcknight 3, Scott 3, Nagys 2, R Henderson 2,
 Stockman 2, Clifton, Ford)
BLOCKED SHOTS: 4 (R Henderson 3, Ford)
STEALS: 8 (Hobbs 3, Nagys 2, Clifton, Scott, Stockman)
3-PT FGS: 5-12, .417 (Mcknight 2-5, Stockman 3-4, Scott 0-3)

Technicals: None
Attendance: 8,500 

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