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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Anthony "Cat" Barber saw the clock winding down in a tie game. He couldn't get to the rim. And after bumping into a teammate trying to set a screen, there was time enough only to launch a 3-pointer.
Barber buried that shot at the buzzer to help North Carolina State beat High Point 76-73 on Wednesday night, capping a night when he played all 40 minutes in a do-it-all performance.
The junior point guard finished with 26 points, six assists and five rebounds with no turnovers. And the Wolfpack (7-3) needed every bit of that production, too.
"He's like the iron man," coach Mark Gottfried said. "He just never gets tired, he just keeps playing and still makes a big play there at the end of the game."
The Wolfpack had the ball coming out of a timeout with 13.3 seconds left. Barber said the play was designed to go to freshman Maverick Rowan for a 3, but Barber ended up beyond the arc looking for a shot. He bumped into teammate Caleb Martin, then launched the 3 over Adam Weary from in front of the Wolfpack bench.
"It was kind of nerve-wracking because the time was running down and I had to make a play," he said. "I had the ball so I had to do something."
Barber fell to the floor as the shot dropped through the net, with teammates immediately mobbing him there.
It was a fitting finish for a game in which neither team led by more than six points after halftime, with the preseason Big South Conference favorite Panthers (8-3) giving N.C. State everything it could handle on its own home court.
High Point had its chance to steal this one. The Panthers called timeout with 19.3 seconds left and a chance at the last shot, but Cody Martin stole Anthony Lindauer's inbounds pass and was fouled.
Martin left with a left ankle injury, forcing BeeJay Anya to the foul line. Anya, who entered shooting at 34 percent, missed both attempts, but Rowan snagged the rebound to set up Barber's final shot.
"I'll take responsibility for not getting them where they needed to get to at the end and executing properly," High Point coach Scott Cherry said. "But I would've loved the opportunity to see what we could've done with the ball."
High Point: Lindauer had a team-high 18 points, while high-scoring forward John Brown had 17 on 6-for-17 shooting. ... High Point shot 43 percent but made 8 of 16 3-point attempts. ... The Panthers fell to 0-7 all-time against the Wolfpack.
N.C. State: Rowan finished with 19 points. ... N.C. State finished with a 44-33 rebounding edge that led to 21 second-chance points. ... N.C. State shot 43 percent.
N.C. State sophomore Abdul-Malik Abu played despite battling a flu bug that required him to have IV fluids and left Gottfried unsure whether Abu would be ready to play.
He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, including a stretch when he scored eight of the Wolfpack's 11 points after High Point had taken a 45-44 lead.
"I had to put that aside," Abu said. "The most important thing was to win. I didn't want to take a game off."
Martin's injury could be a lingering problem for a team with just eight healthy recruited scholarship players. Gottfried said he didn't know if Martin had a fracture.
"At the very, very minimum, I'm sure that he's got a pretty good sprained ankle," Gottfried said. "That's probably the minimum."
High Point travels to William & Mary on Monday.
N.C. State travels to Missouri on Saturday.
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