CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WNCN) – No. 15 Virginia couldn’t overcome a sleepy start to avoid being upset by North Carolina State, 68-61, on Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers had two separate scoring droughts in the first 10 minutes of the game — one lasting longer than 3 minutes and the other going more than 4 minutes. The Wolfpack, meanwhile, built a 19-6 lead by the midway point of the half thanks, in part, to early sharpshooting by Cam Hayes.
Virginia’s defense settled in and held N.C. State to 10 points over the last 10 minutes of the half, but still trailed 29-23 at the break.
Sam Hauser hit back-to-back 3s to tie the game at 29-29 a little more than 2 minutes into the second half. The Cavaliers took the lead a few times, but the Wolfpack went on a 12-2 run to get back on top by the halfway point of the second.
Virginia came as close as 4 points in the final minutes, but the Wolfpack held on.
Hauser led all players with 21 points. Jay Huff had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
N.C. State had DJ Funderburk and Hayes combine for 30 points. Shakeel Moore added 12 points.
The win was N.C. State’s second over a ranked team. It beat No. 17 North Carolina back on Dec. 22.
For Virginia, the loss is its third in a row after falling at No. 16 Florida State and at Duke. It will be back in action with its home finale versus Miami on Monday.
Next up for the Wolfpack is Pittsburgh at home on Sunday.