Final - OT
  for this game

Grant's steal and layup propels NC State past Miami in OT

Jan 20, 2008 - 6:04 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Gavin Grant and North Carolina State needed a wild finish to claim their first conference victory.

Grant scored 24 points, including the game-winning basket in the closing moments of overtime, as the Wolfpack defeated No. 24 Miami, 79-77, in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday.

Brandon Costner scored 16 points and Courtney Fells and freshman J.J. Hickson each added 14 for North Carolina State (12-5, 1-2 ACC), which snapped a two-game losing streak.

"Today's game was about heart and toughness," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. "We knew they played physical, and I told our guys that the most physical team wins the game. We were able to throw the last punch and that was great."

After Anthony King split a pair of free throws to give the Hurricanes a 77-75 lead with 15 seconds remaining in overtime, Grant took a pass in the lane but missed a chance for the game-tying layup. However, Hickson followed with a tip-in with eight seconds left.

"We just got tired of losing," Hickson said. "We had to step up individually and as a team."

On Miami's ensuing inbounds attempt, King made a huge gaffe, throwing the ball right to Grant near the foul line and the senior forward converted a layup with two seconds to play.

"I just happened to be in the right place there," Grant said.

King declined to answer questions after the game.

The Hurricanes' desperation shot at the buzzer fell short, giving the Wolfpack their first victory in three straight games against ranked opponents.

"This was a game we needed to play well and get this win," Lowe said. "We came out with great energy and focus. We executed our defense at the right time like we needed to and got stops."

NC State had lost to No. 1 North Carolina and No. 23 Clemson to kick off ACC play.

Overall, the Wolfpack are 2-3 against teams in the top 25 this season.

Jack McClinton scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, and King and Raymond Hicks each had 13 for Miami (14-3, 1-2), which suffered its ninth straight conference road loss.

"I thought it was a real hard-fought game, a tough game," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "Our kids really played their hearts out in the second half. It's always tough on the road. (NC State) made some big plays, some big shots. Give them credit."