RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Trevor Booker scored 20 points and No. 24 Clemson held on to beat North Carolina State 73-70 on Saturday.
Tanner Smith added 11 points,including two late free throws, for the Tigers (15-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They never trailed but blew nearly all of a 21-point lead before coming up with two key defensive stops in the final minute to snap a pesky streak of letdowns that dated to 1997-98.
Julius Mays had 17 points for the Wolfpack (12-6, 1-3), who trailed 71-70 and had the ball when Jerai Grant blocked Richard Howell's open layup with about 35 seconds left. Smith hit his free throws with 18.6 seconds left and N.C. State called its final timeout.
Mays' 3-pointer with about 5 seconds left went around the rim and the rebound went out of bounds under the basket, but Mays launched a desperation 30-footer that went off the front of the rim.