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November 22, 2009

MVP Smith delivers game-winner over Auburn

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tracy Smith had a game he would rather forget for the better part of 39 minutes. But North Carolina State's forward more than made up for those struggles in the end.

Smith scored on an offensive rebound with 1.3 seconds remaining to lift the Wolfpack to a 60-58 victory over Auburn on Sunday night.

"I can't remember a night like that," said the 6-foot-8 junior, who missed 14 of his first 16 field goal attempts but was still selected MVP of the Glenn Wilkes Classic. "I was getting fouled and getting beat up. But I kept my head in the game and I was focused."

Smith put the Wolfpack (4-0) up 57-56 on a three-point play with 50 seconds to go. Javier Gonzalez split two free throws before Auburn (2-3) tied the game with 12 seconds remaining on Lucas Hargrove's basket.

On N.C. State's final possession, Julius Mays missed a 3-pointer, but Smith, who finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds, was in position to grab the loose ball.

"I was praying that I made it," he said. "I just went up, and I got it."

"He just manhandled us and made the big play at the end," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "That was the toughest shot he had of the night, and he banked it in."

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