Simms, Honor lift No. 19 Clemson to 74-70 win over NC State
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Aamir Simms hit a go-ahead basket for a second straight game as No. 19 Clemson rallied from nine-points down in the second half to beat North Carolina State 74-70 in overtime on Tuesday night.
Nick Honor had 21 points and tied things at 62 with 38 seconds left in regulation to set up the extra period.
North Carolina State (6-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) took its last lead on DJ Funderburk’s 3-pointer with 3:12 to go in OT. That’s when Simms got the ball down low for a basket to put Clemson (9-1, 3-1) ahead for good.
Simms, just 3-of-11 shooting for eight points in the game, added another bucket before Honor sliced through the lane for a layup that gave the Tigers a 72-68 lead.
Devon Daniels drew the Wolfpack within two points with a pair of free throws. But Clemson put things away on freshman PJ Hall’s inside shot that bounced off the rim before falling through with 10.8 seconds left.
Simms hit the winner last Saturday with 19 seconds to go in Clemson’s 66-65 win at Miami last Saturday that returned the Tigers to the national rankings.
Honor, a high-scoring Fordham transfer, had a season’s best in points.
Funderburk finished with 20 points while Daniels had 18 points and 10 rebounds for North Carolina State, which was looking to upset its second ranked team in three games after toppling then-17th-ranked North Carolina 79-76 on Dec. 22.
North Carolina State had little difficulty penetrating Clemson’s normally strong defense — the Tigers lead the ACC with only 56.2 points allowed per game this season — and shot 56% in the opening half including six 3-pointers.
The Wolfpack, which hasn’t scored fewer than 69 points in any of its games this season, used its accurate shooting to break away whenever Clemson tightened things up.
After Clyde Trapp hit a 3 to tie it at 20-all, Shakeel Moore and Devon Daniels answered with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Trapp scored four points in Clemson’s 6-0 run to cut North Carolina State’s lead to 34-32, but Funderburk had a three-point play and a dunk in the final minute as the Wolfpack went into the break ahead 39-32 before Clemson’s second half rally.
THE BIG PICTURE
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack showed patience and talent much of the way until the end when it was outscored 21-11 over the game’s final nine minutes. North Carolina State was looking to start 3-0 in ACC play and make a statement in a league where a true heavyweight hasn’t emerged.
Clemson: Maybe it’s time to talk Tigers in the ACC. Clemson has rallied in its past three games to defeat then-No. 18 Florida State, Miami and the Wolfpack, which came in having won four of five over the Tigers.
North Carolina State returns home to play Miami on Saturday.
Clemson looks to win two in a row for the first time ever at North Carolina on Saturday night.
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