Wolfpack Basketball Falls at Virginia, 58-55
Jan. 29, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- With junior forward C.J. Leslie out of the starting lineup because of illness and junior guard Lorenzo Brown missing most of the game with a leg injury, No. 19 NC State fell 58-55 at Virginia on Tuesday night, as the Cavaliers posted their fourth straight victory.
Leslie, playing despite his illness, scored a team-high 20 points with 14 rebounds. Senior forward Richard Howell had 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for his 13th double-double of the season, the most for a Wolfpack player since Todd Fuller had 14 in 1995-96.
"Obviously losing Lorenzo is a tough hurdle for our team to get over, but I thought they battled through that very well," head Coach Mark Gottfried said. "We did a lot of things well. We didn't execute nearly as well as we should have late in the game and we also had some opportunities where we had the ball right around the rim and we just couldn't score it."
Leslie missed what would have been a tying free throw with 3:20 left, and when Jontel Evans hit two from the line with 26 seconds left, the lead was three. Virginia's Joe Harris scored a game-high 22 points, seven during a game-ending 13-6 run.
The Wolfpack (16-5 overall, 5-3 ACC) played most of the game without Brown, who went down 10 minutes into the game and did not return to the lineup. His status will be evaluated on Wednesday, after the Wolfpack returns to Raleigh.
The Wolfpack entered with the ACC's most prolific offense, but became the Cavaliers' 17th opponent to be held to less than 60 points by Virginia's stingy defense. Virginia has not allowed any of its seven ACC foes to score 60 points this season.
Akil Mitchell added 14 points for Virginia (15-5, 5-2), including an 18-foot jumper that put the Cavs ahead to stay, as the second-stingiest defense in the country put the clamps on.
NC State returns home on Saturday to face No. 15 Miami at PNC Arena. The game is slated to tip off at 4 p.m. and will be televised by CBS.