ACC Basketball: N.C. State 76, Georgia Tech 71, OT
Associated PressRALEIGH ó Dennis Horner followed all the usual techniques to stay in the game while relegated to the bench: he cheered for his teammates, he followed the ebb and flow of momentum, and he stayed engaged in the huddle during timeouts.
When he finally got back on the court in overtime, he was ready.
Horner came off the bench and scored six of his eight points in the final 90 seconds of overtime to lead North Carolina State past Georgia Tech 76-71 on Saturday in a matchup of the only two winless teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Brandon Costner had 22 points and Ben McCauley added 18 for the Wolfpack (10-5, 1-2), but it was little-used Horner who made the plays at the end.
With Costner on the bench with five fouls, Horner converted a three-point play off a nifty assist from McCauley to give N.C. State the lead for good, then made 3-of-4 at the line down the stretch to secure a much-needed victory.
“I knew I just had to be ready over there on the bench when Brandon got his fourth foul,” said Horner, who had played only six minutes before Costner fouled out with 3:08 remaining in overtime. “I knew if he got one more, I was probably going in the game. I just tried to stay poised and ready.”
Freshman Iman Shumpert scored 22 points for the Yellow Jackets (9-8, 0-4). Lewis Clinch finished with 18 points for Georgia Tech but missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation that would have won it.
“We weren’t smart on a couple of situations and they capitalized,” Shumpert said. “We get the first one, we’ll be rolling. After that, you don’t look back.”
The Yellow Jackets pulled away to a 10-point lead midway through the second half on the strength of a 14-0 run. Clinch did most of the damage, making a trio of 3s, and when Gani Lawal finished off the spurt with a layup, it was 64-54.
The margin still was seven when N.C. State came back. McCauley sandwiched two baskets from in close around two free throws for Costner, and after Zach Peacock converted two free throws for the Georgia Tech, Farnold Degand drove for a layup as he was fouled. His free throw tied it, and when Clinch missed, it was off to overtime.