Teammates swarm Virginia Tech’s Dorenzo Hudson, center, after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired in overtime against Georgia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va. Virginia Tech won, 74-73, sending the Jackets to their ninth loss in their last 10 games. (The Associated Press)
BLACKSBURG, Va. — When Dorenzo Hudson launched the final shot of the game, he fell backward onto the floor and never saw the ball swish through the net.
He soon realized the outcome as his teammate swarmed around him.
Hudson made a fade away 3-pointer as time expired in overtime to lift Virginia Tech to a 74-73 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
“I didn’t see it go in,” recalled Hudson, who finished with five points. “I actually thought I got fouled. Then my teammates started jumping on top of me, so I knew then that the ball had gone in.”
Hudson’s shot came after the Yellow Jackets took a 73-71 lead on a jumper by Mfon Udofia with 5 seconds remaining. Virginia Tech then called a timeout with 3.5 seconds to go.
After the timeout, Jarell Eddie got the ball in the corner and nearly lost control. But he passed the ball out of a double team and found Hudson, who launched the game winner for the Hokies (15-12, 4-8 Atlantic Coast Conference). The 3-pointer was Hudson’s only one of the game.
“That’s not exactly the way we drew it up,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said of the final play. “We brought Jarell off to the corner, and curled Erick (Green) to the top, with three seconds to drive into a gap for him to look to the corner, and we stepped the inbounder in.
“I subbed in Dorenzo, not because I thought he was going to make that shot, but because he is our best inbounder. It was good to see him make a shot.”
Georgia Tech was stunned.
“Unfortunately, we don’t trap and the trip in the corner led to the open shot,” Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. “It’s difficult to fight the temptation to go down there, but one of the things we talk about is that, in crucial situations, you need to stick to your defense.
“I’m not going judge how I feel about our guys if that shot goes in or not. It was a heckuva shot. We did a good job on the initial coverage, but unfortunately, we just got a little bit out of sorts once that ball came into play.”
Erick Green finished with 14 points and could’ve won the game in regulation for Virginia Tech, but his jumper missed. Cadarian Raines added a career-high 13 points for the Hokies, who lost at Florida State on Thursday, blowing a nine-point lead with 1:29 left.
“This was a heckuva win for us,” Greenberg said. “For our guys to come back from the Florida State devastation and show the resiliency and figure out a way to win, I just couldn’t be more prouder.”
Georgia Tech (9-17, 2-10) played without leading scorer and rebounder Glen Rice, Jr., who was suspended indefinitely by Gregory on Friday for undisclosed reason. Rice, who was suspended for three games earlier in the season by Gregory for violating team rules, was averaging 13 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Yet the Yellow Jackets, who have lost nine of their past 10 games and 13 of 15, shot a season-best 58.3 percent (28 of 48) and out-rebounded the Hokies 32-18. Kammeon Holsey paced the Yellow Jackets with 18 points - one of five Georgia Tech players in double figures.
“If we compete like that and play with that level of effort and togetherness, we’ve got some wins left in us,” Gregory said.
FSU ROUTS N.C. STATE ON ROAD:
RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 20 Florida State is turning Tobacco Road into its own personal driveway.
2 ex-NC State stars tossed from stands during game
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two of the best players in North Carolina State history were thrown out of their seats during the Wolfpack's 76-62 loss to No. 20 Florida State on Saturday.
Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani were in the stands behind the scorer's table when they were removed from their seats by official Karl Hess with 6:40 left as Wolfpack player Scott Wood prepared to shoot a free throw.
N.C. State Athletic Director Debbie Yow issued a statement Saturday night saying she spent the afternoon and evening seeking an explanation from the Atlantic Coast Conference about what happened. She said she spoke to Commissioner John Swofford and Karl Hicks, the league's associate commissioner for basketball operations, "regarding our concerns and our need for clarification as to why this occurred."
"We expect fair treatment of our fans at State athletic events," Yow said.
John Clougherty, the ACC's supervisor of officials, said in a statement later Saturday night that game officials have the authority to ask the home team's management to remove fans when, in the official's judgment, their behavior is extreme or excessive. After Hess gestured to have Gugliotta and Corchiani removed, they were approached by an officer from the Raleigh Police Department.
"It's unfortunate in this instance that ACC protocol of communicating directly with the home game management was not followed, and instead, a building security officer was solicited," Clougherty said. "We will re-communicate this policy with all officials to ensure proper protocol is followed."
In response, Yow said in an email to The Associated Press that she appreciated Clougherty's comments, she expects that protocol to be followed at future N.C. State games and that Swofford and Hicks understand her school's concerns.
Hess declined comment several times when approached after the game by an AP reporter. Corchiani tweeted roughly 40 minutes after the game that Hess "didn't like fact Googs (and) I told him he was having a bad day, inconsistent, (and) telling the truth."
"I don't have any idea what happened there," first-year N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said.
Gugliotta scored 1,536 points while playing for N.C. State from 1988-92, before beginning a 13-year NBA career that included an All-Star selection in 1997. Corchiani, who spent three seasons in the NBA, played for the Wolfpack from 1987-91 and is second on the NCAA Division I career assists list with 1,038 — behind only Duke's Bobby Hurley.
Both Gugliotta's and Corchiani's jersey numbers hang from the RBC Center rafters.
The Seminoles beat North Carolina State 76-62 on Saturday, and that gave them victories against all four of the state's Atlantic Coast Conference schools in the same season for the first time.
Ian Miller scored 17 points, Bernard James had 12 and Okaro White and Michael Snaer each finished with 10 to help Florida State (19-7, 10-2) improve to 4-0 against North Carolina's four highest-profile programs.
The Seminoles will go for the sweep next Thursday when No. 5 Duke makes a return trip to Tallahassee.
"We're not from Tobacco Road where everyone pays attention to basketball," Snaer said. "There's an added emotion. You're up here, and you want to win every single game. All of the North Carolina teams are very strong, so talented, and we want to take the challenge."
They never trailed, shot 49 percent, led by double figures for the entire second half, held N.C. State to 29 percent shooting — its worst of the season, by far — and forced 17 turnovers. That helped Florida State win its third straight and remain atop the league standings.
C.J. Leslie scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (18-9, 7-5), but the rest of the team combined to shoot 9 of 44 in their second straight loss with both coming to nationally ranked teams in the span of fewer than 48 hours.
"We have to accept the fact that if you want to play in the greatest show on Earth, then you better toughen up and you better man up, pal," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. "There is no other way to look at it. Teams that get to play in March are mentally tough enough to withstand most things, and they fight their way through it. ... We're not there, and we've got to get there."
And making the day even more miserable for the Wolfpack, ex-players Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani — whose jersey numbers hang in the RBC Center's rafters — were ejected from behind the scorer's table with about 6½ minutes left by official Karl Hess.
Hess declined comment several times when approached after the game by a reporter for The Associated Press, while Corchiani tweeted that Hess "didn't like fact Googs (and) I told him he was having a bad day, inconsistent, (and) telling the truth."
Said Gottfried: "I don't have any idea what happened there."
The Seminoles, who haven't lost in Raleigh since 2006, have their defense largely to thank for their latest win here.
They entered allowing teams to shoot just 37 percent — second-best in the ACC — and clamped down on an N.C. State team that makes nearly 47 percent of its shots. Much of the Wolfpack's offense came from the free throw line, where they were 25 of 31.
Florida State outscored N.C. State 18-9 during an 8½-minute stretch of the second half, with White's tip-in with 10 minutes to play making it a 20-point game for the first time at 57-37.
The Wolfpack cut it to 12 three times, the last on Leslie's free throw with 4:25 left. Florida State then re-established its comfortable lead by reeling off seven quick points, with Miller's layup making it 70-51 with 3½ minutes to play.
The win was especially sweet for Miller, a native of Charlotte who finished one point shy of a career high.
"Being from North Carolina, it's a big thing" to conquer Tobacco Road, he said. "Not a lot of teams have done that. I'm loving it."
Lorenzo Brown had 12 points and Richard Howell added 11 rebounds for N.C. State, which hadn't shot worse than 36.8 percent this season, against No. 8 North Carolina.
Leading scorer Scott Wood, who averages 13.2 points, finished with eight on 1-for-10 shooting while hitting his only field goal with about 6 minutes left. Gottfried said he thought Wood might have gotten tired.
"You will never see Scott Wood go 1 for 10 again," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
This game matched two teams that were on the opposite ends of comebacks last time out. Florida State rallied from 15 points down with 15 minutes left to beat Virginia Tech on Thursday night. A few hours earlier the Wolfpack took a 20-point lead with 11½ minutes left against No. 5 Duke, only to allow the Blue Devils to storm back for a 78-73 win.
"As a team, we didn't come. We weren't mentally there," Leslie said. "That's very important that, as a team, we be on the same page. We all weren't on the same page, and we didn't come out and act like we wanted to win this game."
It also marked the midpoint of a brutal stretch for N.C. State, which in a six-day span was playing all three teams that shared the ACC lead. The Wolfpack host the Tar Heels on Tuesday night.
Early on, Leslie found a way to produce some offense but didn't get much help from his teammates. He hit five of his eight shots in the first half for 12 points — but the rest of the Wolfpack was a combined 1 of 21 in the half.
Miller's 3 with 8 seconds left in the half put Florida State up by double figures for good, making it 37-26 at the break.