By: Larry Patterson
John Paul Jones Arena
Headline Photo Credit: Virginia Basketball Twitter Page
Virginia came into this game Wednesday night hungry for a win, after losing 2 straight to Florida St. & Duke due in part to great perimeter shooting from Seminoles Guard MJ Walker (17 pts, 6 rebs, 6/12 FG, 5/6 3pt) and Duke Forward Matthew Hurt (22 pts, 4 rebs, 8/13 FG, 5/8 3pt). North Carolina State came into this game-winner of two straight against Pittsburgh & Wake Forest, featuring solid Guard play from Freshmen (Cam Hayes, Jericole Hellems, Dereon Seabron, & Shakeel Moore) since losing Senior Guard Devon Daniels for the season due to a torn ACL, Daniels was averaging 16 ppg.
NC State opened the game going on an 11-4 run, with three triples, two from Freshmen Guards Cam Hayes & one from Jericole Hellems. The Wolfpack led 17-4 after 9 mins with perimeter shooting & scoring in the paint. NC State displayed good defense & hot shooting in the 1st half, hitting 9 of its first 13 shots in the opening, but made 3/12 the rest of the half. Virginia later bounced back on a 13-4 run to shrink the Wolfpack’s lead to 25-21 two minutes before the half, thanks to a triple from Junior Guard Kehei Clark and a basket from Sophomore Forward Justin McKoy. The Wahoo’s Senior Forward-Center Jay Huff was much needed for his scoring in the paint, Huff ended the half with (8 pts, 4 rebs, 3 blks). Fellow Senior Forward Sam Hauser opened up the 2nd half with two straight triples, Hauser ended the night with 21 pts and shooting 7/16 from the field and 5/11 from behind the arc. Kihei Clark tallied in (11 pts, 3 rebs, 7 ast) and Jay Huff had a strong 2nd half with (19 pts, 11 rebs, 3 steals, 5 blocks) shooting 50% from the field.
That wasn’t enough to hold off the Wolfpack, Senior Forward DJ Funderburk totaled (14 pts, 6 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blk, 1 ast) and Sophomore Forward Manny Bates tallied in (8 pts, 3 rebs, 3 ast, 1 blk) both shot 50% from the field. Bates is currently 8th in the country with (2.8) blocks per game. The Wahoos closed within five twice, the first came two minutes before the half. The second came with about 3 minutes left with a 54-49 Wolfpack lead. Sam Hauser hit a triple with 3:40 left, but NC State’s Cam Hayes silenced an already silenced John Paul Jones Arena with a desperation triple from the top of the key to pushing State’s lead back to 8. Cam Hayes totaled (16 pts, 2 stls) and shot 3/4 from behind the arc. Fellow Freshman Shakeel Moore collected (12 pts, 4 rebs, 1 blk), providing the Wolfpack with quality bench scoring. Wolfpack outscored Virginia 17-6 from the bench, leading to NC State’s upset of #15 Virginia 68-61.
Next for the Wolfpack, they head home to face Pittsburgh on Sunday
Next for the Wahoos, they’ll face the University of Miami Monday night
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