N.C. State shakes off long drought, defeats Virginia, 53-51

uva basketballVirginia erased an 11-point N.C. State lead with a 15-0 run over a 10-plus-minute stretch of the second half, but the Pack rallied late to steal one from the ‘Hoos in JPJ, 53-51, on Monday.

UVA (12-6, 4-4 ACC) trailed 42-31 after a C.J. Bryce three with 13:51 to go when coach Tony Bennett went to little-used freshman 7-footer Francisco Caffaro, who gave the Cavaliers an immediate boost on both ends.

State (14-5, 5-3 ACC) went scoreless for 10:13 before a three by Jericole Hellems cut a four-point UVA lead to 46-45 with 3:38 to go.

A contested Markell Johnson three at the 2:44 mark would, though we wouldn’t know it at the time, give the Pack the lead for good, as Virginia went without a bucket from the field for the final 4:37.

Johnson missed the front end of a one-and-one with 23 seconds left and State up three, but Jay Huff missed a contested three from the top of the key that would have tied it with 13 seconds left.

Bryce then missed the front end of another one-and-one. Kihei Clark converted on both ends after being fouled with eight seconds left to make it a 52-51 game.

Devon Daniels sank one of two free throws with 7.2 seconds left to make it a two-point game, leaving Virginia with one last opportunity, but Casey Morsell missed a potential game-winning three, on which it appeared that a Pack defender made contact with him on his shot, with no foul called, as time expired.

Clark led UVA with 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Morsell had nine on 4-of-9 shooting in 32 minutes.

Huff, Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key each had eight, on another night for Virginia where points and makes were in short order.

UVA shot 18-of-50 (36.0 percent) from the field and 3-of-12 from three-point range, missing its last five shots in that final 4:37 stretch.

N.C. State, which shot 20-of-51 (39.2 percent) from the floor and 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from three, got 14 points from D.J. Funderburk, who fouled out with 6:48 to go.

Story by Chris Graham

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