RALEIGH, NC – Omer Yurtseven scored a career-high 29 points and five three-pointers made to push the NC State Wolfpack to a 78-77 upset of the 19th-ranked Clemson Tigers
NC State got out to an early 6-0 lead due to Allerik Freeman coming out of the gate with the hot hand.
Clemson would fight back to tie the game at seven.
After a 5-0 run from NC State was answered by four strasight Clemson points, Omer Yurtseven hit four straight field goals, including two three-pointers to extend NC State’s lead to 22-15 with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
Clemson would respond with a 13-3 run led by seven straight points by Clemson’s Mark Donnal to give the Tigers the 36-33 lead with 2:45 remaining in the half.
Braxton Beverly hit a three-pointer to take the lead 38-36 with 1:05 remaining.
After Clemson would get a layup, Yurtseven hit his third three-pointer of the half to lead 41-38 heading in to halftime.
The second half would be back and forth, before Omer Yurtseven would take over the game, scoring 16 of his career-high 27 points. Yurtseven also managed a new career-high in three-pointers made (5), field goals made (11), and field goals attempted (17).
Clemson would cut the deficit to three at 74-71 with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Omer Yurtseven sealed the deal with a fastbreak dunk to extend the NC State lead to 76-71 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Tigers would not go away! Fighting back to within three points, NC State’s Sam Hunt fouled Gabe DeVoe with the chance to tie the game with 0.2 seconds remaining. After hitting the first two, Clemson called a timeout to talk things over. DeVoe would miss the free throw to end the game and give NC State their second-straight victory over a ranked opponent, winning 78-77.
This is the first time NC State has beaten ranked ACC opponents consecutively since the 2006-07 season.
Allerik Freeman finished the game with 14 points, three rebounds, and five assists.
Marcquise Reed led the way for the Tigers with 17 points and four rebounds.
Coach Kevin Keatts mentioned after the game that he feels like Yurtseven was showing “freedom and confidence” while playing in his style of basketball. “These particular group of players, they believe in him.” The first-year Wolfpack coach continued “..he took 18 shots and everybody was happy for him.
NC State (11-5, 1-2 ACC) will travel to Charlottesville to play the third-ranked Virginia Cavaliers Sunday, January 14th at 6 pm.
(Photo courtesy of Donald Watkins Jr)