C.J. Leslie scored 17 points and North Carolina State overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Texas 77-74 on Monday night in the third-place game of the TicketCity Legends Classic.
The Wolfpack (4-1) trailed 65-47 with 11:43 to play when they
finally started hitting shots. They were able to go on a 19-1 run
that tied the game at 66 with 6:10 to play on two free throws by
North Carolina State eventually went up 75-67 on a drive by
Brown with 2:58 to go.
Texas (2-2) made its first field goal in a span of just less
than 9 minutes, part of a three-point play by Sheldon McClellan
that brought the Longhorns within 75-70.
Texas had two chances to tie the game in the final 10 seconds
but Jonathan Holmes missed a 3-point attempt from the corner and,
after Leslie missed two free throws with 9 seconds to go, Julien
Lewis was short with a 3 at the buzzer that was knocked away by
Richard Howell of the Wolfpack.
The ball was not going in the basket, so there was no
Scott Wood, who missed the semifinal loss to No. 18 Vanderbilt
with an ankle injury, added 16 points for the Wolfpack, while Brown
J'Covan Brown led the Longhorns with 17 points and Holmes and
McClellan added 16 each. It was Brown's lack of self-control that
became the turning point of the game.
Brown, who averaged 29.3 points over the first three games,
picked up his fourth foul with 8:25 to play and the Longhorns
leading 65-52. As Brown walked to the bench he said something to
official Earl Walton and was called for a technical foul, which
meant he fouled out of the game.
Wood made two free throws on the technical, Leslie made two on
the personal and North Carolina State was within 65-56 and in the
midst of the game-changing run.
Texas played much better defense than it did in its 100-95
overtime loss to Oregon State in the semifinals and the Longhorns
also cut their turnovers from 23 to 13.