Clemson’s ten-game winning streak ended at NC State Thursday night with a 78-77 loss to the Wolfpack. While fans will remember the missed free throw by Gabe Devoe with .02 seconds to play that would have tied the game, coach Brad Brownell identified turnovers and too much individual play as the major culprits in the loss.
The Tigers trailed by 12 with 1:34 to play but staged a great comeback and had two chances to force overtime. Down 74-71 with :33 left, the Tigers forced a turnover on an in bounds pass under their basket. However, they returned the gift when Donte Grantham couldn’t handle a pass towards midcourt. That led to a steal and a dunk for the Pack and a five point lead.
A David Skara layup was offset by two free throws. Then things really got crazy.
Devoe got a put back off a missed layup by Shelton Mitchell with .01 left and the Tigers full court press forced a turnover on the in bounds. The Tigers had a chance to talk things over while the officials reviewed the call and they worked a play to Devoe for a three pointer in the left corner. And he was fouled.
Devoe, an 80% free throw shooter on the season, toed the line and nailed the first two shots. But Devoe missed the third attempt and the Wolfpack came away with their third win over a top 20 team this season, and avenged a loss at Clemson December 30th.
The Tigers suffered 17 turnovers that State converted to 20 points. Conversely, Clemson forced only four turnovers. The Tigers did other things well like shooting 53% from the floor and outrebounding the Wolfpack 43-32.
But defensively they had no answer for 7-0 Omer Yurtseven. He scored a career high 29 points including five three pointers.
Two early fouls limited Elijah Thomas to just 15 minutes and 6 points but Mark Donnal came off the bench to give the Tigers a boost with 13 points. Marcquise Reed led the Tigers with 17 points.
Clemson falls to 14-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. The Tigers return home to face Miami Saturday afternoon.
Brad Brownell on what he told his team during final time out
Clemson players were not made available after the game, according to a team spokesman, due to travel-related time constraints.