CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 15 Virginia (15-6, 11-4 ACC) suffered a 68-61 loss to NC State (11-9, 7-8 ACC) on Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia had three players in double figures. Sam Hauser (Stevens Point, Wis.) led the team with 21 points, Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif.) added 11 points with seven assists.
The Cavaliers shot 37 percent from the floor, while NC State shot 45 percent and converted 23-of-28 free throws. The Wolfpack had a 31-30 edge in rebounding and led 30-16 in points in the paint.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NC State jumped out to a 17-4 lead after a couple of scoring droughts for UVA. The Cavaliers closed the first half on a 13-5 run to trail 29-23 at the break.
Hauser hit back-to-back threes to open the second half and tie the game 29-29. UVA took the lead after a layup by Clark and two free throws for Huff. The Wolfpack had a 12-2 run over five minutes to regain the lead, 45-37, with 9:55 to play. The Cavaliers kept fighting and a three by Hauser cut it to 54-49. Clark and Huff each hit a pair of free throws to close it to 57-53. NC State made 11-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
Hauser hit a long three to cut it to 65-61 with 16.3 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds, UVA had a chance as Casey Morsell (Fort Washington, Md.) knocked it away, but NC State retained possession and held on for the win.
THE GAME BALL GOES TO
Jay Huff had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
FROM TONY BENNETT
On the loss:
“When you’re in these tight games, any lapse you have – a missed block out, not forcing the guy the wrong way to screen – those just get magnified. The small things matter kind of got us a little bit at Duke, although I thought we played a more solid game start to finish (at Duke), this one hurt because they (more physical) at times and I thought we had some mental toughness that was in stretches good but in times we lost our way a little bit. Sam (Hauser) got hot late and Jay (Huff) statistically, didn’t hit the threes but scored some. After that it was hard. Trey has to keep improving when they climb into him. He’s very good in the space but how does this team play when the shots are not going in. We haven’t become gritty enough or tough enough to lean on our defense to hold us in there. We did it a couple times this year, but not consistently enough. They started going at us, you look at the points in the paint and those things, that was discouraging but we still had some chances. Then they hit the three of the board at the end of the shot clock and I think was a three-point game, that hurt to maybe have a chance. NC State is playing good ball and they’re a talented team and if you don’t play sound good basketball you’ll get beat in this league and we’re certainly not finding that to be the truth.”
- The Cavaliers dropped to 9-1 at home (6-1 ACC)
- A pair of free throws from Jay Huff gave UVA its first lead at 35-33 at 14:33 second half
- Virginia gained its first tie (29-29) on a pair of 3-pointers from Sam Hauser to start the second half
- Huff (11 rebounds) recorded his ninth career double-double
- Huff matched a career high with three steals
- Huff (5 blocks) recorded his 16th multi-block game (43rd career)
Virginia closes out its home games, hosting Miami on Monday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network.