TJ Warren's game-winner gives Wolfpack the victory
NC State Nabs OT Win over Georgia Tech
By Mike Leslie, Sports Anchor/Digital Journalist - email
RALEIGH, N.C. (GoPack.com) - T.J. Warren's running, one-handed jumper with five seconds left proved to be the difference as the NC State men's basketball team won its second consecutive game with a thrilling 80-78 overtime win over Georgia Tech on Sunday at PNC Arena.
The Wolfpack overcame an 11-point second half deficit to force overtime before Warren, who sat out State's previous game with an ankle injury, scored the game-winning shot. With the win, the Pack improves to 13-7 overall (3-4 ACC), while Georgia Tech falls to 11-9 (2-5 ACC). Warren scored five of his team-high 20 points in the overtime period and also pulled down a team-high six rebounds on the day. Ralston Turner and Desmond Lee added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Pack while Tyler Lewis added 10 points, all coming in the second half.
"Both teams played extremely hard," NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. "It was a great college basketball game and I'm really proud of our team. I thought we had a chance even when we were down and things were not looking great for us. Our guys played with great courage. They played really hard and competed. We had a lot of different players make big plays and contribute. T.J. Warren hit a big shot at the end. Tyler Lewis set a great screen on that play. Tyler's two back-to-back three pointers gave us great energy and belief. He played terrific. Desmond Lee had a great put back. Jordan Vandenberg had a good play at the end. I could go down the lineup. There were big plays by every guy that contributed. We are obviously very excited about it."
The close-knit contest featured six ties and 12 lead changes over the course of the 45 minutes of action. After finishing regulation tied at 72-72, Warren scored the initial bucket in the overtime period before Tech tied it up with a pair of free throws. From there, Jordan Vandenberg's tip-in gave State the lead right back until a lay-up by the Yellow Jackets' Trae Golden tied it up at 76. Warren and Lee each connected on one of two free throws over the next minute of action to put the Pack in front 78-76 until a Golden jumper tied the score at the 1:13 mark of the extra period.
After a miss on State's end, Vandenberg stole the ball from Tech big man Kammeon Holsey, setting the stage for Warren's game-winning shot.
Sunday's game marked the second straight contest in which NC State has overcome an 11-point second-half deficit. After playing just three minutes in the first half, Lewis came off the bench to spark the Wolfpack with his second-highest point total of the season.
With State trailing 52-41, Lewis hit back-to-back three pointers to ignite a 21-9 State run that gave the Wolfpack a 62-61 lead at the 7:11 juncture of the half. From there, there were two ties and four lead changes over the final minutes of action as both teams traded punches back and forth. State held Tech scoreless over the final 2:28 of regulation, tying the game at 72-72 on Lee's tip-in with 19 seconds to go.
At the game's outset the Wolfpack was red-hot, hitting five of its first six shots as part of a 7-0 run to surge out to an 11-6 lead. Turner connected on all three of his baskets in the early going, scoring seven points to lead the Pack out of the gate. From there State continued its hot hand, shooting at a 71.4 percent clip to take a 21-15 lead at the 10 minute juncture of the half.
A 13-2 Georgia Tech run spanning four minutes of action put the Yellow Jackets in front for the remainder of the half, as Tech would take a 40-35 advantage into the halftime break.
Daniel Miller led Georgia Tech with a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds.
The Wolfpack will close out its three-game homestand Wednesday, Jan. 29 vs. Florida State. Tip-off at PNC Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m.
WJZY FOX 46 3501 Performance Rd. Charlotte, NC 28214 Main Number: (704) 398-0046