'Canes rally but fall short; Wolfpack win 56-55

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 'Canes begin the latter part of their ACC schedule with a visit from the NC State Wolfpack. After a tough (2-7) record through the first 9 conference games, the 'Canes are hoping a softer 2nd half schedule can help them get on a roll.

Despite taking some of the fewest 3-pt attempts in the nation, NC State came out bombing from beyond the arc. Ralston Turner was the main culprit, going 4-7 on 3's in the first half. Collectively, NC State went a whopping 7-12 from long range, including a desperation chuck at the end of the frame.

You would expect Miami to be down big at the break, but the 'Canes did their best to weather the storm. Rion Brown, Garrius Adams, and Manu Lecomte accounted for just about all of Miami's points. Brown was really active (as he has been the entire season), Adams did some nice work inside, and Lecomte took care of the ball and hit some timely shots. Down 32-26 at the break, the 'Canes were still within reach of a win.

NC State opened up a 41-32 lead early on in the second frame. Miami battled and scrapped while NC State's 3-point hysterics seemed to run out. Nearly everyone on the roster scored, but Brown continued to be the go-to guy. TJ Warren turned his ankle late in the half but didn't come out of the game. However, he wasn't moving around with the same intensity and Miami closed to 51-49 with 2:20 left.

After a big rebound by Rafael Akpejiori, Brown took the ball to the hoop and was fouled in the process. Brown made both to tie the game at 51-51. In the blink of an eye, Lecomte got called for a foul on Warren, who nailed both to push the NC State lead back to a fragile 2-points.

Lecomte got a modicum of revenge on the next possession as he drove to the hoop and was blocked. Lecomte missed the first, but hit the second to bring the 'Canes to within one with 1:09 left.

Warren was fouled on a drive and hit two more free-throws, leaving the 'Cane down by 3 with 41.2 seconds left in the game.

After a crazy sequence that led to a NC State fast break turned into the easiest basket Lecomte will ever score in his career as the ball somehow ping-ponged into a layup drill. Down 1 with 9.7 seconds left, Miami fouled Turner and sent him to the line. The 60% FT shooter missed the first as it hung on the rim for a perilous second before spilling out. The second shot was true and Coach Larranaga called a quick time out to set up for a final shot with NC State leading 56-54.

Lecomte drove the lane and threw one up high off the glass. Akpejiori was in perfect position for an offensive rebound and when he went up was fouled immediately. Akpejiori hit the first but missed the second. There was a little bit of controversy as Akpejiori seemed to be elbowed in the face and the crew took time to review the play, to determine if Miami would possibly have a final chance to tie or win. Ultimately, it was decided there was no elbow and NC State was at the line. After missing both, Brown was clobbered on a desperation 3-pt heave as time expired, but there was no call - they never make that call so it wasn't a big surprise.

The Bottom Line: This type of game hasn't been an unusual occurrence this season. It seems the 'Canes have been on the edge of overtime or winning in many of their 8 conference losses. One. More. Scorer.

North Carolina State Wolfpack
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Jordan Vandenberg, C 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 3 5 0 0 0 1 4 4
T.J. Warren, F 8-14 2-4 9-10 3 4 7 0 1 0 3 3 27
Kyle Washington, F 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 3 0
Tyler Lewis, G 1-5 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 3 0 0 2 2 3
Ralston Turner, G 6-13 4-11 1-2 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 17
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Lennard Freeman, F 0-1 0-0 2-2 2 4 6 0 0 0 0 1 2
Anthony Barber, G 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 1 1 0
Desmond Lee, G 0-2 0-1 3-4 1 1 2 1 2 0 4 1 3
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
17-45 7-20 15-20 11 22 33 7 3 0 11 17 56
37.8% 35.0% 75.0%
Miami (FL) Hurricanes
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Tonye Jekiri, C 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 1 0
Donnavan Kirk, F 0-6 0-1 1-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 1 1
Garrius Adams, G 4-10 0-1 2-3 0 2 2 3 2 0 1 3 10
Manu Lecomte, G 4-10 1-3 4-6 3 1 4 1 1 0 2 3 13
Rion Brown, G 5-14 3-10 7-8 3 1 4 0 3 0 3 2 20
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Erik Swoope, F 1-2 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 1 0 0 0 3 3
James Kelly, F 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 2
Raphael Akpejiori, F 1-2 0-0 1-2 5 3 8 0 0 0 0 2 3
Davon Reed, G 1-3 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 4 3
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
17-51 5-18 16-23 17 18 35 6 6 0 11 19 55
33.3% 27.8% 69.6%

Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None

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