College Basketball: N.C. State 96, UNC-Greensboro 93

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Associated Press

RALEIGH — With a six-player rotation, North Carolina State has plenty of opportunities to fill up the statistics column. And few water breaks.

Ben McCauley was an example of both Tuesday as he tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists while never coming out of the game as N.C. State beat UNC Greensboro 95-93 in overtime.

N.C. State (10-4) trailed by 11 in the second half until Gavin Grant hit a

3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the score at 77 with 10 seconds left in regulation.

“This was a gut-check game for us. It could have gone either way,” said Grant, who scored 18 points, pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds and joined McCauley with 45 minutes played. “We do a lot of five-on-five drills and the last five minutes of the game and the overtime were just like that, five-on-five, don’t get tired.”

McCauley tied career-highs in points and rebounds and set a new mark in assists and minutes played. He scored N.C. State’s first six points of overtime, and his overall performance proved even more important once Brandon Costner, N.C. State’s only other post player, picked up his fourth foul with 9:54 left in the game.

“I felt like we had an advantage inside, and sure enough they got me the ball and I got some points and passed out when they collapsed on me,” said McCauley, one of four N.C. State players to log 39 minutes or more in the game.

“(McCauley) did an unbelievable job,” N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe said. “I give his teammates just as much credit because they got it to him and we played off of him.”

Those teammates included Courtney Fells, who scored a career-high 19 points, including a career-best 9-for-9 performance from the free-throw line, and Costner, who finished with 18 points.

Fells scored 13 of his points in the first half to help keep N.C. State close. UNC Greensboro (6-7) led 42-41 at the half and built a 58-47 lead with 13:48 remaining.

Kendall Toney led UNC Greensboro with a career-high 28 points, including eight 3-pointers.