Hall's 20 lead Clemson to 73-56 win
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Rod Hall had a career-high 20 points, K.J. McDaniels added 12 points and six blocks and Clemson ended its three-game losing streak with a 73-56 victory over North Carolina State and Atlantic Coast Conference leading scorer T.J. Warren on Tuesday night.
Warren led the Wolfpack (16-10, 6-7 ACC) with 20 points, but was outplayed by McDaniels, the ACC's fourth leading scorer who came in averaging better than 17 points a game. Five of McDaniels' blocks came on the 6-foot-8 Warren and Clemson's junior had a high-flying tip-in with 3:35 that gave the Tigers a 66-49 lead and brought the crowd to its feet.
It was the first time Clemson (16-9, 7-6) surpassed 70 points in nine games since defeating Duke 72-59 on Jan. 11.
Clemson used a 24-9 run to start the second half and take control.
This was Warren's eighth straight game with at least 20 points.
Damarcus Harrison finished with 14 points for Clemson.
Hall, the junior point guard, surpassed his previous career best of 18 points set against Southern Illinois during his freshman season.
Ralston Turner had 11 points for the Wolfpack, none of those in the second half.
Clemson watched a 12-point lead slip away to trail 33-32 at the break. The Tigers, though, rallied back in the second half. Hall got the run started with a go-ahead basket and Harrison scored seven points in the charge.
By the time McDaniels hit two foul shots with 11:02 to go, the Tigers lead 56-42.
North Carolina State never got closer than seven points after that.
This was a contest both teams had to have - North Carolina State to continue its bounce back from 1-4 ACC start and Clemson to break a string of three straight losses after opening a surprising 6-3 in league play.
Both clubs had heartbreaking losses last time out. For the Wolfpack, it was a last-second layup by Syracuse star C.J. Fair in the top-ranked Orange's 56-55 win Saturday night.
Earlier that day, the Tigers gave up a second-half lead and fell to No. 17 Virginia, 63-58.
The game also matched up two of the ACC's top scorers in Wolfpack forward Warren, averaging 23.1 points to lead the league, and high-flying Clemson standout McDaniels, fourth in the conference at 17.3 points a game.
It was McDaniels and the Tigers who had the better of things early on. Clemson scored the game's first seven points and McDaniels had six points to help build a 26-14 lead with little more than seven left in the opening half.
That's when Warren and the Wolfpack figured out how to penetrate Clemson's defense, ranked second in the country and the ACC behind Virginia. North Carolina State finished the period with 19-6 run to move in front. Ralston Turner had his third 3-pointer of the period during the charge and BeeJay Anya had a pair of dunks to cut the lead to 32-31.
Warren followed an Austin Ajukwa miss with a fast-break layup with 5.6 seconds left to send the Wolfpack into the break with their first lead of the game.
Warren and McDaniels each had six points in the first half.