Clyde Austin of North Carolina State dribbled the length of the court and sank a 30-foot shot at the buzzer tonight to provide the Wolfpack with a 86-85 overtime victory over Georgetown in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Georgetown, which blew a 12-point lead in the second half with seven straight turnovers, had gone ahead, 85-84, on Craig Shelton's three-point play with six seconds remaining.
John Duran led Georgetown with 26 points and Shelton added 25. Hawkeye Whitney had 26 and Kendall Pinder 25 for State, which the winner of the Texas-Rutgers game on Tuesday night for the championship. Georgetown plays the loser for third place at Madison Square Garden.
Since star guard Derrick Jackson was taken ill with a bleeding ulcer, Georgetown has tried to play harder defense and more cautious offense.
This plan was working to perfection in the first half as the Hoyas led, 42-35. They played a near-perfection offensive game, averaging 1.36 points per possessions, a marvelous figure because most teams aim for 1.0.
John Duren, Georgetown's point guard, took up where he left off as the most valuable player in this winter's Holiday Festival, scoring 17 first-half points and directing the George-town offense splendidly.
He received inside help from Craig Shelton who had 22 points and snared many of Georgetown's rebounds. Georgetown payed its usual shifting defenses [LINE ILLEGIBLE] especially troublesome for the Wolfpack.
Only Hawkeye Whitney, State's sophomore forward, could do much damage near the hoop against the Hoyas. He yelled his way for 12 first-half points.
After the game was tied at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Georgetown forged into a 16-10 lead. The Hoyas held a 35-33 lead with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the half. Georgetown scored the next five points.
Duren made a free throw. Tony Warren missed an outside jumper and Tiny Pinder fouled Shelton on the rebound. Shelton made both ends of the bonus situation and it was 38-33.
Duren and Shelton each made five of seven shots in the first half as the Hoyas were 67 percent marksmen.
It took Georgetown only a minute of the second half to increase its lead to 49-7 with two turnovers hurting the Wolfpack. State Coach Norm Sloan called a timeout.
Only Whitney, with State's first seven points of the half, kept the Wolfpack close.
Suddenly, Georgetown lost some of its composure.
Ed Hopkins missed, Steve Martin was called for an offensive foul, and the usually unflappable Mike Riley was cornered and whipped a wild pass that Whitney intercepted and turned into a three-point play. State trailed, 51-47, with 15 minutes to play.
Georgetown continued to pile up turnovers, making seven in a row. State caught up, at 51.
The game was tied at 53, 55, 57 and 59 before the Wolfpack surged ahead, 67-61, with Pinder scoring six straight points, two on offensive rebound follows.
From the time they trailed, 51-47, the Wolfpack scored 24 points in its next 11 possession, an average of more than two points a possession. On one possession, Pinder failed to complete a three-point play, but Donnie Perkins snared the rebound and made a short jumper.
After a turnover, State continued to score every possession, as did George-town, and the Wolfpack led, 74-70, with 1 1/2 minutes to play.
Georgetown trailed, 78-74, with less than a minute to play. But Art Jones missed a bonus free throw and Ed Hopkins answered for Georgetown with two free throws with 44 seconds left.
The Hoyas fouled Whitney with 33 seconds left. He missed the front end of his bonus, but Jones grabbed the rebound. Pinder missed, Shelton got the rebound, hurled the outlet pass to Esherick and he hit a 15-footer to tie the game at 78.
The game went into overtime.