Neither Clemson nor NC State had a great shooting day, but the Wolfpack’s superior ability to capitalize at the free-throw line propelled them to a 60-54 victory on Saturday.
The Tigers shot an abysmal 9 of 23 from the free-throw line, with many of those misses being the front ends of 1-and-1’s. That effort, coupled with their woes from the field, was too much to overcome despite a solid performance on the defensive end.
Clemson jumped out to a 15-8 lead but went cold as ice from there. NC State led 36-24 at halftime and controlled the game throughout most of the second half.
The Wolfpack stretched the lead to as many as 18 early in the second half, but the Tigers were able to trim the deficit to six with 1:21 remaining. A Braxton Beverly 3-pointer on the next possession was the dagger, however.
Aamir Simms led the way for Clemson with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but he scored just six in the final 33 minutes of the game. He didn’t get much help, as Tevin Mack (12) was the only other double-figure scorer for the Tigers.
DJ Funderburk, Devon Daniels, and Markel Johnson each had 13 in a balanced effort for NC State.