ACC Basketball: Vanderbilt 86, N.C. State 79
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Vanderbiltís Kevin Stallings became a shooting coach specialist and he might have quite a future in it.
John Jenkins, the recipient of Stallingís advice, scored 28 points and the 18th-ranked Commodores closed the game on a 10-2 run for an 86-79 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday night in the semifinals of the TicketCity Legends Classic.
Jenkins had 20 points in the first half.
ěThe ankle really wasnít an issue. I did feel a little better at the shootaround,î Jenkins said. ěI was going to go tonight no matter what. I wasnít letting my teammates down. But I never thought Iíd be this productive. Coach got in my face a little in the shootaround, because I thought I wouldnít feel good at all. But once I started shooting, I felt better.î
Stallings told Jenkins to stop worrying about his injury.
ěThis morning, he said his foot was hurting again and he was shooting and missing,î Stallings said. ěI told him that he was thinking too much about his foot and I said something to remind him.î
The Commodores will play the winner of the Texas-Oregon State game for the championship on Monday night at the Izod Center.
Saturday nightís game was close on the scoreboard and stat sheet until Vanderbilt (3-1) took the lead for good with the deciding spurt that started with 2:16 to play.
Jeffrey Taylor added 17 points for Vanderbilt and Lance Goulbourne had 15, including 10 in the opening 7 minutes of the second half.
ěWeíre happy to win, but we have a long way to go before weíre a good team,î Taylor said. ěWeíre going to do our best to be the team we want to be.î
The Commodores were picked No. 7 in The Associated Pressí preseason Top 25 and they fell to 18th after a loss to Cleveland State.
Vanderbilt is still without Festus Ezeli, whose sprained right knee is expected to keep him out about another month.
C.J. Leslie, who missed the first three games of the season while sitting out a suspension for accepting $410 worth of impermissible benefits, had 20 points for the Wolfpack (2-1), but the sophomore forward missed the last 6 minutes of the game because of leg cramps.
ěI thought in the first half he was exceptional, but he got tired,î North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said. ěItís one thing to practice every day and another to being in game shape. He started cramping late and he was playing well when he started cramping. He was really good early.î
Richard Howell had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Wolfpack.
DeShawn Painterís reverse layup with 2:43 left gave North Carolina State a 77-76 lead.
Taylorís tip-in with 2:16 to go started the closing run. After Lorenzo Brown missed a 3-point attempt for the Wolfpack, Jenkins hit a step-back 3 and North Carolina State never seemed to recover from it. It was 84-77 with 26 seconds to play.
ěI thought Vandy showed late in the game that they had experience,î Gottfried said. ěI know that team very well and that was the difference, their experience. I thought we competed. I liked the effort we got from our guys.î
College of Charleston 72, Clemson 69
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Antwaine Wiggins scored 22 points to lead the College of Charleston to a 72-69 win over Clemson on Saturday night.
The Cougars (3-0) hit the first basket of the game and led the rest of the way to pick up a fourth win over a major conference team in coach Bobby Cremins’ six years at the school.
Charleston led by as many as 16 with less than 14 minutes to go, but Clemson (2-1) slowly climbed back in, scoring on 16 of its next 17 possessions.