• 36°

ACC Basketball: N.C. State falters at Virginia

Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The little things that Virginia coach Tony Bennett preaches about doing are starting to add up to regular victories, and the fact that his freshman-heavy team is starting to find its comfort zone is helping a great deal, too.
Joe Harris scored 22 points, seven during a game-ending 13-6 run, and Virginia’s nationally ranked defense slowed No. 19 North Carolina State’s ACC-best offense just enough in a 58-55 victory Tuesday night, the Cavaliers’ fourth straight victory.
One game after freshman Justin Anderson led the way for Virginia, fellow freshman Mike Tobey had a huge hand in the victory with 13 points and, more importantly against the long, athletic Wolfpack, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Mike’s continuing to improve and he’s certainly a threat on the block,” Bennett said, glancing at the stat line for his 6-foot-11 center. “And I love it that he had seven rebounds. That’s a good step. He’s put together three real nice games.”
Akil Mitchell added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), including an 18-foot jumper that put them ahead to stay with 3:53 remaining, before the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense (51.1) closed it out.
“We knew the first half, we didn’t play particularly well offensively, but at the same time we didn’t feel like we played our best defensive half either,” Harris said after Virginia trailed 31-24 at the break. “They kind of just bullied us around and out-toughed us.”
North Carolina State (16-5, 5-3), which arrived averaging nearly 80 points per game, became the 17th team, including all seven ACC opponents, to be held under 60 points by Virginia.
C.J. Leslie, playing despite being under the weather, led the Wolfpack with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Richard Howell had 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Leslie missed what would have been a tying free throw with 3:20 left, and when the Wolfpack fouled Jontel Evans as he tried to dribble time off the clock with 26 seconds left, Evans made them both.
Earlier, Evans drew a foul on a 30-foot heave at the end of the first half, drawing three shots. He missed them all.
“My concentration was unbelievable. I was focused. I went through my progressions, I tuned out the crowd, the score and everything,” Evans said. “Those were probably the biggest two free throws of my entire career.”
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried wasn’t pleased that his team fouled in that situation.
“That is not a good play,” he said. “You just can’t make that play. … We needed to get a defensive stop.”
The Wolfpack never got off a good shot in the closing seconds.
N.C. State also suffered a critical loss midway through the first half when point guard Lorenzo Brown limped off with what appeared to be a left ankle injury. He got medical attention on the bench, went to the locker room, came back and got more attention and wanted to give it a go, but he appeared significantly hobbled and didn’t return.
“Obviously losing Lorenzo is a tough hurdle for our team to get over, but I thought they battled through that very well,” Gottfried said. “We did a lot of things well. We didn’t execute nearly as well as we should have late in the game and we also had some opportunities where we had the ball right around the rim and we just couldn’t score it.”
Leslie hit two free throws. Harris’ drive made it 54-51 and Scott Wood’s 3-pointer with 4:20 to go tied it.
Mitchell’s jumper restored Virginia’s lead with 3:53 left, and a free throw by Leslie with 3:20 to go was all the Wolfpack could manage over the last 4 minutes of the game.
Trailing for the first 27 1-2 minutes, Virginia finally went ahead on Tobey’s 15-foot jumper with 12:26 to play. The game was tied at 40 and 42 before a dunk by Leslie, Wood’s 3-pointer and Howell’s drive more than negated Evan Nolte’s 3-pointer for Virginia, putting N.C. State ahead 49-45.
But Virginia drew even again with the help of two turnovers as Harris hit two free throws and Tobey scored underneath.
Harris then got T.J. Warren into the air from the left corner, jumped and leaned into him, drew the foul and three shots. He made them all, giving Virginia a 52-49 lead.
That set up the finish.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development

Education

Knox student organizing event to get community cycling

Education

Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday

Nation/World

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

Nation/World

Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

Nation/World

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

News

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine

News

North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen

Crime

In letter, PETA criticizes Salisbury Police for K-9 video

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident