No. 25 Missouri beats NC State 68-64
RALEIGH, N.C. -- T.J. Warren has made scoring look easy all season for North Carolina State. He appeared heading for another big performance Saturday night only to go quiet at the worst moment.
Warren scored 24 points, right on his average, in the Wolfpack's 68-64 loss to No. 25 Missouri. But the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading scorer didn't score in the final 12 minutes and didn't get a shot off in the final 5:50 as the Wolfpack saw a resume-building nonconference win slip away late.
Warren finished 11 for 23 from the field with 13 rebounds in 37 minutes. The 6-foot-8 sophomore looked headed for his fourth 30-point performance when he hit a 3-pointer from in front of the N.C. State bench to give his team a 46-41 lead with 12: 04 left.
He didn't score again, managing two shots during a scramble inside and a missed 3 at the 5:50 mark in what turned out to be his final attempt.
Coach Mark Gottfried said Warren got a little tired late, but the team could've done more to keep him involved.
"Absolutely we want T.J. more involved, although he's not our only option," Gottfried said. "I do think we can do some things to make sure T.J. stays involved. I thought he got tired. I took him out at the 4-minute mark and tried to give him a blow around that timeout. But I don't think he was as aggressive. So we've got to do a better job with him on that."
For Missouri, Jabari Brown hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 55.1 seconds left.
Brown's 3 over Wolfpack freshman Anthony "Cat" Barber was the biggest shot in a back-and-forth final 4 minutes that saw the teams trade the lead three times before Brown's shot made it 63-62.
Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points to lead the Tigers (11-1), including two free throws with 20.1 seconds left that pushed the lead to 65-62.
Brown finished with 17, helping Missouri hold on in its first true road game this year. Johnathan Williams hit a free throw with 3.7 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and effectively seal the win.
Missouri hit five 3-pointers after halftime, the last two coming in the final 4 minutes. After N.C. State's Ralston Turner knocked down one to give N.C. State a 59-57 lead, Clarkson hit one over Tyler Lewis at the 2:55 mark to put Missouri back up 60-59.
Turner, who had made just one shot through the first 36 minutes of the game, answered with another 3 that put the Wolfpack (9-3) up 62-60 with 1:39 left. But Brown responded with the shot that would put Missouri in front for good.
Missouri was coming off its first setback, a 65-64 loss against Illinois in which the Illini hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to spoil the Tigers' perfect start.
As for N.C. State, the loss snapped a seven-game winning streak. It also looked unlikely considering how the Wolfpack controlled the action for much of the night and didn't trail until Clarkson's three-point play with 3:51 left.
There were plenty of things for the Wolfpack to regret after this one. In addition to Warren's quiet finish, Barber had a chance to put N.C. State back in front moments after Brown's 3 only to come up short on the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity at the foul line with 26.8 seconds left.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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