UNC escapes with win over NC StateMar 11, 2012 - 12:18 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - In a game where whistle-happy officials called 42 fouls and both teams' leading scorers fouled out, Kendall Marshall may have gotten away with one in the final seconds.
But the whistles were silent as he drove his shoulder into Alex Johnson before netting the game-winning layup with 10.2 ticks on the clock, and No. 4 North Carolina survived a feisty NC State squad, 69-67, in an ACC Tournament semifinal on Saturday.
"I feel like in basketball in that situation, they're not going to call a ticky-tacky foul," said Marshall. "We just wanted to get something going toward the rim. And thankfully enough, I was able to get it up on the backboard and it went in."
Tyler Zeller led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Harrison Barnes chipped in 16 points and Marshall contributed a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Tar Heels (29-4), who will play No. 17 Florida State in Sunday's final.
C.J. Leslie had 22 points and seven boards and Lorenzo Brown finished with 16 points for the Wolfpack (22-12), who missed a chance at a signature win. They will find out if their resume is enough for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
A high-intensity game reached its zenith in the final minutes.
The climax began when Brown single-handedly took over for NC State. Down 66-61, he muscled his way past three Tar Heels in the paint for a massive, momentum-building dunk.
He followed with a tough jumper that got a friendly bounce as he was fouled by Barnes. Brown hit the ensuring free throw for the game's seventh tie, at 66- all.
Zeller fouled out on UNC's next possession for going over-the-back of DeShawn Painter in a scramble for a rebound. Painter made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe, and Barnes did the same after being fouled 10 seconds later.
In possession with a chance to take the lead and under one minute to play, Brown made a crushing mental mistake by not paying attention to the man with the ball. A routine pass from Johnson rolled off his fingertips and out of bounds for an unforced turnover.
Marshall's game-winner followed.
The Wolfpack did have 10 seconds left, but Justin Watts intercepted a pass by NC State's Scott Wood and, nearly falling out of bounds, threw it down the court to take most remaing time off the clock.
Johnson regained possession and called timeout with 1.2 seconds remaining. The Wolfpack could not get a good shot off before time expired, however.
"I think that their effort was just amazing. And we are disappointed tremendously," said NSCU head coach Mark Gottfried. "We had to overcome a lot of foul trouble, we had to fight through a lot of different things in the game but our kids never quit. They battled with tremendous heart. We came up a little bit short."
NC State held a 34-31 edge at halftime thanks to shooting slightly better (46.9 percent) than its rivals.
UNC's John Henson, ACC defensive player of the year, did not play after spraining his wrist in Friday's win over Maryland...There were eight ties and 15 lead changes...NC State has lost 12 in a row to UNC, and its last win came on February 3, 2007.
- NORTH CAROLINA STATE: 67
NORTH CAROLINA: 69
Mar 10 3:09 PM
- NORTH CAROLINA STATE: 34
NORTH CAROLINA: 31
Mar 10 1:52 PM
- NORTH CAROLINA STATE: 0
NORTH CAROLINA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 10 1:12 PM
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