NC State's Keatts: 'I want those guys to learn how to finish'
Omer Yurtseven’s red-hot shooting allowed the Wolfpack to hold off a late Clemson rally and claim another ranked victim on Thursday night.
Yurtseven scored 29 points, sinking five 3-pointers along the way, as NC State topped No. 19 Clemson 78-77 in ACC basketball before a crowd of 17,526 at PNC Arena.
Coupled with last Saturday night’s 96-85 win over No. 2 Duke, the Wolfpack (12-5, 2-2 in ACC) has two consecutive wins over top-25 teams and three this season.
Yursteven made 12 of 18 shots against Clemson (14-2, 3-1) to reach a career-high scoring total. The Wolfpack shot just 41.8 percent as a team, but committed just four turnovers. Two came in the final minute when Clemson, which trailed 73-61with 1:34 to play, climbed within three points and had the ball with 1.3 seconds left.
Clemson in-bounded the ball to Gabe DeVoe, who was fouled by Sam Hunt while attempting a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds to play. DeVoe hit the first two free throws but missed the last one.
That allowed NC State to halt Clemson’s 10-game winning streak. The Tigers’ only other loss this season was a 67-60 game against Temple on Nov. 19.
After committing just one turnover over the first 20 minutes, NC State led 41-38 at halftime.
The teams were tied at 50 when NC State’s defense held the Tigers scoreless for five minutes, 30 seconds while the Wolfpack reeled off 11 consecutive points.
When Yurtseven hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game, NC State led 61-50 with 8:37 to play.
Yurtseven hit all three of his 3-point shots in the first half, scoring 15 points to help the Wolfpack lead 41-38 at intermission.
With Clemson turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, N.C. State led by as many as nine points in the first 20 minutes.
Clemson, behind strong play inside and out from forward Mark Donnal, battled back to take its first lead with 3:24 left in the half. Donnal scored seven consecutive points, including a basket inside at 2:42 that gave Clemson a 36-33 lead.
But Yurtseven, who had been sidelined briefly after he and Clemson guard Marcquise Reed banged knees, returned to the game and helped the Wolfpack finish the half in strong fashion.
Yurtseven’s hook shot ended Donnal’s personal 7-0 run and a Braxton Beverly 3-pointer put the Wolfpack up 38-36.
Donte Grantham drove the lane for a basket to tie the score at 38.
But NC State worked the clock down and, with 10 seconds left in the half, Yurtseven sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key giving the Wolfpack a three-point halftime lead.