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The Backdore
The Backdore The Backdore


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Third-seeded North Carolina State (21-10) briefly went ahead on Ilian Evtimov's free throws with 33.6 seconds left. Evtimov finished with a career-high 28 points, 17 in the second half.

On Vanderbilt's ensuing possession, Mario Moore threaded a pass from the top of the key to a cutting Smith on the right block. Smith sank the layup despite a whack in the chest, and the free throw was good.

"Coach called out the circle (backdoor cut) play, and they were overdefending it," said Moore, who scored 16 points. "Corey made a great cut, and I was able to make the pass."

Earlier, Smith gave the rally a huge boost when his breakaway at the 1:51 mark drew Marcus Melvin's intentional foul. Smith hit the free throws to bring Vanderbilt within 71-67, and Moore followed up by sinking a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

"I thought [Melvin] was going to let me go, so I slowed down and he hit me," said Smith, who had 10 points.

Stallings said, "It was a huge momentum play; a five-point possession for us."

The game ended when Scott Hundley blocked Engin Atsur's off-balance attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer.