Virginia takes N.C. State’s punch in the mouth, holds on for 64-57 win
A D.J. Funderburk dunk with 6:53 to go made it a 10-0 N.C. State run, and it was feeling like déjà vu all over again for #14 Virginia.
Virginia Tech had taken control with a 19-0 run in the second half on its way to a 65-51 win back over the weekend.
That one was the first bit of adversity this UVA team, 7-0 in the ACC at that point, had faced in weeks.
The ‘Hoos scored on 10 of their last 11 possessions down the stretch on their way to an important 64-57 win over the Pack on Wednesday in Raleigh.
It wasn’t easy, but you kind of hoped it wouldn’t be, considering how this past Saturday had gone down for the Cavaliers (12-3, 8-1 ACC), now a game and a half up on the field in the conference, with Tech losing 83-72 at Pitt earlier in the night.
The margin never got out of double digits, and it was only at nine for Virginia briefly, after a Trey Murphy III dunk at the 3:18 mark made it 57-48.
Credit to State (7-7, 3-6 ACC) for hanging around.
A Jericole Hellems contested three got the Pack back within six with 2:57 to go, and Thomas Allen connected from long-range at the 1:10 mark to get the margin to 60-56.
Credit also to the Cavaliers, who had wilted in the face of pressure in Blacksburg, but rose to the occasion in this one.
It wasn’t pretty – State made it tough with in-your-face ball pressure all night – but the response needs to be praised.
Virginia scored 21 points on its last 11 possessions in the final 6:37, going 5-of-8 from the field and 8-of-8 at the line.
The cushion came in a 1:10 stretch – a Sam Hauser three on a secondary break pass from Kihei Clark, a Clark drive that led to a layup, and a five-high drive, bucket-and-one by Jay Huff, that turned a 47-46 lead into 55-48 breathing room after Huff finished the conventional three-point play with the free throw with 4:28 to go.
State, with the threes from Hellems, who finished with 23, on 9-of-15 shooting, 3-of-6 from three, and Allen, whose trifecta was his only bucket of the night, would stay in it.
Hauser and Murphy would each score 18 to lead Virginia.
Huff had 12 points and six rebounds, in 33 minutes – notice that, because Virginia needs to have him on the floor that much.
Clark had eight points and six assists.
Reece Beekman also had eight points for Virginia, which gets that Pitt team that just beat Virginia Tech, on Saturday.
- Virginia (12-3, 8-1 ACC) has an 11-game winning streak at PNC Arena (13-7 all-time)
- The Cavaliers are 9-7 against NC State at PNC Arena and 4-0 in NCAA tournament action in 2014 and 2016
- UVA went on a 9-0 run near the end of the first half to gain a 28-24 lead
- UVA had a 5:49 scoring drought in the second half
- UVA went 20 of 22 from the free throw line (both ACC season highs)
- UVA has limited 12 opponents to 64 or fewer points
- Virginia is 68-83 all-time vs. NC State in the series that dates back to 1912-13
- UVA has a seven-game road winning streak in the series
- The Cavaliers are 13-1 in their last 14 regular-season games against NC State
- UVA has limited the Wolfpack to 57 or fewer points in nine of the last 10 games in the series
- Tony Bennett is 14-3 vs. NC State as head coach at Virginia
- Double Figure Scorers: Sam Hauser (18), Trey Murphy III (18), Jay Huff (12)
- Hauser has reached double figures in 14 of 15 games
- Reece Beekman had a career-best two blocked shots
- Beekman matched a career-high with five rebounds
- Murphy’s 18 points marked an ACC high
- Kihei Clark had a game-high six assists
Story by Chris Graham