ACC Basketball: Miami 72, N.C. State 64
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Jack McClinton was out of sorts. He ran into a teammate, tripped over an opponent, blew a layup and shot an air ball.
Yet from the free-throw line, he was perfect.
McClinton overcame a shaky start Saturday by sinking all 16 of his free-throw attempts, and the Miami Hurricanes held North Carolina State without a field goal for more than 12 minutes in the second half to win 72-64.
McClinton scored 24 points even though he missed his first seven shots before sinking a 3-pointer early in the second half. He finished 3-for-15 from the field.
“I was just pressing a little bit,” McClinton said. “My shot was off, so I had to find other ways to get some points on the board. I was trying to get to the lane and got some fouls.”
That was fine with Miami, because McClinton’s a 90-percent career shooter from the line, second-best in conference history. His 16-for-16 effort was the Hurricanes’ best since at least 1985-86, which is as far back as school records in the category go.
“He wasn’t having his night in terms of shooting the ball,” coach Frank Haith said. “He just stayed with it and made enough plays because he’s Jack. We wanted to keep getting him the ball because he’s one of the best free-throw shooters in the country.”
The Hurricanes (18-11, 7-9 ACC) helped their slim hopes of making the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. North Carolina State (16-13, 6-10) is likely out of the mix unless it makes a big splash in the league tournament.
The Wolfpack missed 12 consecutive shots during their second-half drought, which began when they led 42-36. By the time Javier Gonzalez ended the streak with a minute left, Miami had a 10-point cushion.
“We just couldn’t score,” North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. “We were going inside, and we couldn’t make anything.”
Center Ben McCauley finished 0-for-7 and totaled six points, less than half his average. Gonzalez scored 19 points, and Tracy Smith and Brandon Costner had 12 apiece.
The Wolfpack played without starting swingman Courtney Fells, sidelined by a groin injury. He’s expected back for the conference tournament.
On senior day, McClinton’s mother and aunt surprised him by singing the national anthem.
“I was crazed,” he said. “I was just hoping they didn’t forget the words. They did a great job, so I’m proud of them. I’m the best singer on the team, so of course my mom can sing also.”
By Mike London firstname.lastname@example.org Salisbury’s girls play East Davidson today at 2 p.m. at UNC Greensboro in the 2A Western... read more