EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Fueled by a dramatic 28-2 run, NC State erased an 18-point second half deficit to outlast Texas at the buzzer 77-74 Monday at the TicketCity Legends Classic.
After a miserable 9-of-26 shooting performance in the first half, the Wolfpack rebounded to the tune of 11-of-18 shooting from the field and a 3-of-5 showing from three-point range.
Three Wolfpack players finished in double figures with C.J. Leslie leading the way thanks to a 17 point outing, going 4-of-8 and 9-of-16 from the line. Scott Wood made his return from an ankle injury suffered against Princeton in thrilling fashion, scoring 16. Lorenzo Brown scored 11 and lead the Pack with four assists.
Texas charged out of the locker room to snag a 53-38 lead early in the second half. At the 18:26 mark, the Longhorns had graduated the lead to 65-47. Then, what might have been NC State’s last gasp turned into a mammoth 28-2 run to take command of the game.
The turning point came with 8:16 to go, as Texas head coach was whistled for a technical foul for arguing a call. The Pack made four free throws to trim the Longhorn lead to 65-56. NC State’s next two possessions produced three-pointers from Wood and Alex Johnson to make it 66-62 with 7:00 on the clock.
The Wolfpack tied it up at 67-67, then ran away from the Longhorns, claiming a 75-67 lead to finish the incredible run with 2:58 remaining.
Texas snapped out of its daze coming out of the media timeout, but the Longhorns’ effort would not suffice. Julien Lewis’s buzzer beater three fell short to send the Pack home with a win 77-74.
The Longhorns seized control of the game early with a run to stretch a 9-8 lead to 20-13 in the first 10 minutes. NC State clawed back into the game with a pair of strong finishes by C.J. Williams and Jordan Vandenberg on consecutive plays. Williams capped the tail end of a give-and-go from the wing with an emphatic righthanded dunk over a Texas defender. Vandenberg crashed the offensive boards on the next play with a tip-in to cut the score to 20-17.
The Wolfpack’s run ended there, though, as Texas sustained its lead behind 15-of-26 first half shooting. By the 4:23 mark, the Longhorns owned their largest lead of the game at 43-30 and held a 43-33 advantage heading to the locker room.