States loses to Miami 79-78, once again, on a last-second tip-in.
State led 76-71 with 1:31 remaining but then turned the ball over on consecutive possessions and missed the front end of a one-and-one and then a jumper in the final minute, which gave Miami the chance to win on its final possession. Which they did on a tip-in off a missed jumper with a little over a second remaining.
State has now lost its four league games by a combined nine points, and finds itself facing some trouble at 5-4 (5th place), with a Thursday 9pm game at Cameron looming.
Feel free to meltdown below and/or over on the re-launched SFN Forums.
Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
Grieving Tyler Lewis gives N.C. State some inspired play
Sitting in his Statesville home Saturday, watching his inspired son assume a leading role for short-handed N.C. State, Rick Lewis shed tears and cheered enthusiastically with the toughest man he knows.
His 82-year-old father.
Clennon Lewis was shot in the ear and leg during the Korean War, and he survived a helicopter crash in Vietnam because the aircraft landed in a body of water. He’s had two triple bypass surgeries, the first in 1975, the next 21 years later, and he hasn’t let prostate cancer or several aneurysms defeat him.
So when Clennon chatted with his grief-stricken grandson on the phone late Friday night and asked him to play Saturday, what choice did Tyler Lewis really have other than to say he would?
At about 8 p.m. on Friday, four days shy of her 84th birthday, Margie Lewis died at Iredell Memorial Hospital, where she was being treated for pneumonia. Tyler lost his grandmother, Rick his mother, Clennon his wife of 61 years.
Urged to remain in Raleigh, Tyler nearly directed the Wolfpack to a dramatic win over ACC-leading Miami. A freshman reserve who had totaled 38 minutes in the first eight league games, he posted 16 points and five assists with only one turnover in 36 minutes of a 79-78 loss.
Tyler played most of his high school career at Forsyth Country Day, but another Winston-Salem product, Miami’s Reggie Johnson, stole the spotlight by scoring on a go-ahead tip-in with 0.8 seconds left.
“I knew what I had to do out there,” Tyler said. “I had to prove (myself) to all the people that hadn’t seen me play this year. After this, I think I proved a lot of people wrong.”
That’s exactly what Clennon expected from his grandson.
Omega Wolf (BackingthePack.com)
Second Half Swoon
If there is a silver lining in N. C. State’s last-second, tip-in loss to Miami, the Pack’s second such loss on the season, it is the emergence of Tyler Lewis, who had 16 points to go along with a 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while spelling the injured Lorenzo Brown. In seven of N. C. State’s nine ACC games the Pack’s opponent has scored at least 56.9% of its points in the second half; this fact strongly suggests that the Pack’s thin bench is causing a gassed squad to give up an abnormally high total of second-half points, thus also losing leads late in games. Lewis’s contribution against Miami may give Mark Gottfried enough faith in the freshman point guard to give him significant minutes even after Brown’s return, boosting the thin rotation and perhaps helping the Pack stave off the second half swoon.
The most egregious example of State’s collapsing trend is the game against Wake Forest; Wake put up 51 points against the Pack after intermission. The half is the Deacons’ highest scoring 20-minute session of the season and accounted for 59.3% of their scoring for the game. Wake’s second-half surge allowed it to erase a 12-point halftime deficit and win by two.
The Hurricanes put up 45 second-half points to erase a six-point halftime deficit and win by one. Miami scored 57% of its points in the second half, and Miami’s after-intermission output was its sixth best scoring half of the season overall and second best in 16 halves of ACC play.
Caulton Tudor (N&O)
Wolfpack could emerge a better team
The best ACC basketball game of the season to this point ended Saturday in the PNC Arena with N.C. State losing a battle, but possibly winning a war.
Thanks to a game-winning, follow tip-in by Reggie Johnson in the final second, Miami (17-3, 8-0 ACC) left with a 79-78 win over the Wolfpack (16-6, 5-4).
But with Wolfpack point guard Lorenzo Brown sidelined by an injury, freshman Tyler Lewis came through with a performance that looked a lot more like Bobby Hurley than the seldom-used reserve N.C. State fans had seen in previous games.
“We’re a better team after tonight,” said fellow freshman Rodney Purvis, whose 70-foot desperation shot at the final horn almost changed the outcome.
“The way Tyler played in this game, we have to feel so great about our chances. He was amazing.”
Lewis, lightly recruited and lowly regarded by almost everyone except Wolfpack assistant coach Bob Lutz, finished with 16 points, five assists, only one turnover and two rebounds in 36 minutes.
Immediately after the game, Lewis left to join his family in mourning for his grandmother, Margie Lewis, who died Friday in Statesville.
Joe Giglio (N&O)
Three Points: Effort, endgame solutions and Tyler Lewis
1) What it takes
N.C. State played with a palpable intensity and desperation on Saturday in a game, arguably for the first time all season, it wasn’t supposed to win. These two points are obviously connected.
N.C. State should be, as coach Mark Gottfried put it, heartbroken after Reggie Johnson’s tip-in with 0.8 seconds left gave Miami a 79-78 win but the Wolfpack should not be discouraged.
John Wooden espoused prioritizing the process over the results and this was that type of game for N.C. State. The result doesn’t diminish the effort. Sometimes you lose because the other team makes the last play and sometimes you lose but you learn about the effort and passion it takes to win.
There’s the potential for the latter for N.C. State from Saturday’s loss. To put it another way, if N.C. State had played with that intensity and purpose against Maryland or Wake Forest, it would be sitting at 7-2 in the ACC standings today, instead of 5-4.
The good part about learning such lessons is the earlier in the season you do, the better off you are. This game, an instant classic, felt like March and was played at high level. N.C. State was not capable of playing a game like this in November (see: Michigan). That’s the first step, now it must take another step and prove it can win a game like this.
The lesson comes too late to help N.C. State win this ACC regular-season title, but it could potentially serve the Wolfpack well in Greensboro and beyond.
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Final possession becomes a recurring Groundhog Day nightmare for N.C. State
It’s ironically fitting that the game was played on Groundhog Day, because just like Bill Murray in the movie of the same name N.C. State’s basketball misfortune became a recurring a recurring nightmare Saturday.
Two-and-a-half weeks ago at Maryland, Alex Len took advantage of a long rebound and the lack of a box out to tip in the basket that beat the Wolfpack with less than a second left.
This time the culprit was Miami’s Reggie Johnson.
In a play so similar that only Punxsutawney Phil could truly appreciate it, Johnson tipped in a Shane Larkin miss with 0.8 seconds remaining to give the Hurricanes a 79-78 victory at PNC Arena.
The dramatic – and familiar – finish spoiled an inspired effort by backup point guard Tyler Lewis while dropping preseason ACC favorite State four full games behind unbeaten Miami in the league standings.
The Wolfpack has now lost four ACC games, to Maryland, Wake Forest, Virginia and now Miami, by a combined total of seven points.
“But this one,” freshman guard Rodney Purvis said, “seemed to hurt more.
“Don’t get me wrong, every game is equal. But I hate to lose at home in front of our fans. This would have been a huge win. It would have made a mark for us, not having (injured point guard Lorenzo Brown) in.”
Andrew Jones (FoxSportsCarolinas.com)
Miami’s comeback gives fans a classic
Either team could have won, and quite frankly, this was a rare case in which both squads deserved to win. But the older, wiser club prevailed.
“Experience is a word we hear a lot — a lot of people comment on our age. But it’s been very valuable for us,” Miami forward Julian Gamble said. “Me being a sixth-year senior and being in the ACC for as long as I have and going through the things I’ve gone through, and with D. Scott being here for four years and having the amount of experience, he has really helped us.
“It helped us stay poised and helped us stay calm.”
The ebb and flow of the game included a series of adjustments made by both coaching staffs. Initially, Miami’s maturity, which includes four senior starters and a senior as the first man off the bench, knocked State back a bit. But once Lewis entered the game and gained confidence after making a few plays, the rest of the Pack caught his contagious vibe and picked up their play.
Purvis: This one seemed to hurt more
NC State guard Rodney Purvis said that after their fourth ACC loss by three points or less, the one to Miami hurt more because it was at home.
Lewis: I had to take advantage of the opportunity
NC State guard Tyler Lewis scored 16 points in a loss to Miami Saturday and afterwards said he was just trying to take advantage of an opportunity.