Virginia Drops ACC Opener To NC State, 75-63
Jan. 5, 2003
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. – Julius Hodge scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds,and North Carolina State’s defense shut down Virginia for a 75-63 victorySunday, snapping the Cavaliers’ six-game winning streak.
Hodge, the Atlantic Coast Conference scoring leader at 19 per game, hasthree 20-point games in his last four and extended his ACC-best streak ofdouble digits outings to 16 straight. He was 8-for-11 from the field.
Virginia’s recent troubles against the Wolfpack (8-2, 1-0 ACC) and inconference openers continued on this night. The Cavaliers (9-3, 0-1) droppedtheir eighth straight league opener and lost for the sixth time in a row here.
Virginia star Travis Watson, who had a career high 29 points against N.C.State last February, didn’t get his first basket of the second half until therewas 7:50 left and his team trailing by 11. He finished with 10 as the Wolfpackdefense was tough on the inside and against Virginia’s 3-point shooters.
The Cavaliers were 11-for-24 from beyond the arc in a win over Wofford onThursday night, but was a miserable 4-for-22 against N.C. State in postingtheir second-lowest point total of the season.
N.C. State grabbed its first double-digit lead with 13:28 left beforeVirginia pulled within six at 53-47 seven minutes later.
But Levi Watkins hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Hodge made a 12-footer45 seconds later to push the margin to 11. Before his basket, Hodge blocked ashot by Keith Jenifer that turned it over to N.C. State, displaying his overallgame.
Virginia never got closer than eight down the stretch as coach Pete Gillenfell to 0-5 in ACC openers.
The Cavaliers fell behind by nine early as the Wolfpack was able to sinkthree 3-pointers against a 1-2-2 zone.
However, the Cavaliers missed their final seven shots of the half, failingto score over the final 3:47 of the period as the Wolfpack took a 29-24 lead atthe break.
Virginia couldn’t get Watson involved in the offense as the senior forwardmanaged just four shots in the opening 20 minutes.