CLEMSON, SC (AP) Hunter Tyson scored 26 of his career-high 31 points in the second half and Clemson used a late run to hold off North Carolina State 78-64 on Friday.
Tyson also had a career-high 15 rebounds in posting his sixth double-double this season for the Tigers (11-3, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are off to their best league start since 2017-18. Tyson was 9 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 5 on 3-pointers, and made all nine of his free throws.
Chase Hunter added 12 points and Ben Middlebrooks had a career-high 10 off the bench.
NC State’s Terquavion Smith scored 21 points, 16 in the second half, although it came on just 5-of-21 shooting, including 3 of 13 from the arc, but he made 8 of 10 free throws. Casey Morsell added 13 for the Wolfpack (11-4, 1-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
The Wolfpack got within five on Morsell’s 3-pointer with 2:48 to go but that was NC State’s last field goal until Smith hit one with 17 seconds left. In between, the Tigers went on a 12-0 run, including four free throws after Morsell was called for a foul and a technical while vying for the ball with Hunter.
NC State coach Kevin Keatts picked up a technical early in the second half after DJ Burns, the leading scorer in the Wolfpack’s previous two games, picked up his fourth foul. Tyson made the resulting free throws then added a 3-pointer in scoring eight straight points in 41 seconds for a 13-point lead. Burns fouled out with five points and six rebounds in 19 minutes.
Tyson hit a 3-pointer to snap a tie with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half and the Tigers led the rest of the way, going up 28-21 at halftime.
Clemson’s Alex Hemenway, who started the first 12 games of the season and leads the ACC at 50% 3-point shooting, missed his second straight game with a foot issue.
On Wednesday, Clemson is at Virginia Tech and NC State plays host to No. 17 Duke.
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