7:00 PM ET, February 8, 2006
BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- North Carolina State blew a 15-point second-half lead, made only one basket during an 11½-minute span and twice gave up game-tying scores when on the verge of victory.Somehow the Wolfpack won anyway. They earned their second double-overtime road win in 11 days Wednesday, beating the Miami Hurricanes 86-77.Miami overcame a 56-44 deficit with 6 minutes left in regulation and made late baskets to force both overtimes. But Ilian Evtimov's 3-pointer to start the second extra period put the Wolfpack (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) ahead to stay, and they sank six consecutive free throws to close out the win."We've been there before," Evtimov said. "It's like cracking a safe. Sooner or later, somebody is just going to mess up. And they did."Cameron Bennerman scored 23 points for the Wolfpack, who survived a 1-for-9 shooting drought that lasted much of the second half."We had them," said Guillermo Diaz, whose basket forced the first overtime. "Coming from behind, we had the momentum. But that last overtime, they made some plays and free throws."With their fourth consecutive win, the Wolfpack (19-4, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) remained alone in second place in the league behind No. 2 Duke. North Carolina State also needed two extra periods to beat Clemson on Jan. 29."That's the nature of this conference," Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek said. "There's so much balance, there's so much excellence, that during any one cluster or segment of games, chances are that if there's six games, five of them are coming down to the last possession."The result snapped a three-game winning streak for the Hurricanes (14-9, 6-4). They fell to 2-5 against ranked teams and face Top 25 teams in their next three games."Obviously we're disappointed," coach Frank Haith said. "But we've got to get ourselves emotionally ready to come back. That's what this league is all about. This league is that good."The Wolfpack sank 11 3-pointers in the first 28 minutes, then went 17½ minutes without one until Evtimov put them up 78-75 to start the second overtime.A basket by Cedric Simmons made it 80-75. Engin Atsur, Simmons and Bennerman then made two free throws each for North Carolina State, which finished 22-for-25 at the line."I looked at Miami, and they were just really tired, with their hands on their knees, almost like they didn't want to play anymore," Evtimov said. "By the second overtime, it was obvious. They were tired, and couldn't keep up with us."Evtimov scored 16 points, Gavin Grant 13, Simmons 12 and Atsur 11 for the Wolfpack.Robert Hite led Miami with 22 points. Diaz added 18, Anthony Harris 15 and Denis Clemente 11.North Carolina State made eight consecutive free throws before Atsur missed the first of two attempts with 18 seconds left in regulation. Diaz's driving layup with 9.8 seconds to go tied the score at 65, and Miami's Anthony King blocked a shot by Simmons to force overtime.Harris was the first to score in the extra period, sinking a driving bank shot to give the Hurricanes their first lead since 2-0.Diaz sank a 3-pointer to tie it at 73 with 1:16 left in the first overtime. Bennerman banked in a shot for the Wolfpack, and King tied the game again by sinking a follow with 24 seconds to go, forcing a second overtime at 75-all.But that was the Hurricanes' final basket."It was just a roller coaster," Bennerman said. "We didn't really get rattled or get nervous or anything like that. We just pulled together."Miami started the game in a zone defense, and the Wolfpack raced to a 15-8 lead, making four 3-pointers in the opening 4 minutes. Even when the Hurricanes switched to man-to-man, North Carolina State kept hitting from outside, finishing the first half 9-for-16 on 3-pointers for a 36-25 advantage.Andrew Brackman's lone 3-pointer made it 41-28. Grant's first -- and seventh of the season -- gave the Wolfpack their biggest lead at 51-36."They're a great shooting team. A lot of those shots were contested," Haith said. "They're going to find the open man, and then everybody they throw it to can make the shot."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||26-55 (.473)||26-62 (.419)|
|3P Made-Attempted||12-27 (.444)||6-25 (.240)|
|FT Made-Attempted||22-25 (.880)||19-24 (.792)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||20 (0/0)|