East Rutherford, N.J. C.J. Leslie scored 17 points and North Carolina State overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Texas 77-74 on Monday night in the third-place game of the TicketCity Legends Classic.
The Wolfpack (4-1) trailed 65-47 with 11:43 to play when they finally started hitting shots. They were able to go on a 19-1 run that tied the game at 66 with 6:10 to play on two free throws by Lorenzo Brown.
North Carolina State eventually went up 75-67 on a drive by Brown with 2:58 to go.
Texas (2-2) made its first field goal in a span of just less than 9 minutes, part of a three-point play by Sheldon McClellan that brought the Longhorns within 75-70.
Texas had two chances to tie the game in the final 10 seconds but Jonathan Holmes missed a 3-point attempt from the corner and, after Leslie missed two free throws with 9 seconds to go, Julien Lewis was short with a 3 at the buzzer that was knocked away by Richard Howell of the Wolfpack.
The ball was not going in the basket, so there was no goaltending call.
Scott Wood, who missed the semifinal loss to No. 18 Vanderbilt with an ankle injury, added 16 points for the Wolfpack, while Brown had 11.
J’Covan Brown led the Longhorns with 17 points and Holmes and McClellan added 16 each. It was Brown’s lack of self-control that became the turning point of the game.
Brown, who averaged 29.3 points over the first three games, picked up his fourth foul with 8:25 to play and the Longhorns leading 65-52. As Brown walked to the bench he said something to official Earl Walton and was called for a technical foul, which meant he fouled out of the game.
Wood made two free throws on the technical, Leslie made two on the personal and North Carolina State was within 65-56 and in the midst of the game-changing run.
Texas played much better defense than it did in its 100-95 overtime loss to Oregon State in the semifinals and the Longhorns also cut their turnovers from 23 to 13.