The Virginia men’s basketball team (11-8, 5-4 ACC) fell to the North Carolina State Wolfpack (10-10, 3-6 ACC), 77-63. This was the 141st meeting between the two schools, and NC State now leads the all-time series, 77-64. The last meeting was a seven-point win for the Wolfpack, despite 21 and 19-point efforts by Sam Hauser and Jay Huff, respectively. The Hoos underwhelming season continues, as their fast start was derailed towards the end of the first half.
After starting 1-4 from the field, UVA made their next eight shots. They would take their largest lead of the game with just under nine minutes to go in the first half, with a 26-18 lead. The Wolfpack would turn the game around and score 11 unanswered points. By the end of the first half, NC State were on a 25-6 run and led 43-32. The 43 points are the second-most points the Hoos have given up in the first half this season (Iowa scored 44).
The Hoos shot 50% from the field and 5-7 from beyond the arc, but the team went cold, shooting 3-12 from the field after 10 makes on their first 14 attempts. Jayden Gardner led the team with 11 points on 5-9 shooting from the field, while Armaan Franklin had nine points on three made three-pointers. For NC State, they were able to stretch the defense through their own scoring from downtown. Terquavion Smith and Jericole Hellems took all of the Wolfpack’s attempts from three, shooting 9-14. The duo combined for 31 points in the first half.
The Hoos’ shooting woes persisted in the second half. Reece Beekman had 10 in the half, but the Cavaliers shot 34.5% from the field. Garnder shot 0-3, Franklin was 1-3, and Kihei Clark was 0-5. The Wolfpack’s scoring leaders in the second half were Casey Morsell and Dereon Seabron, who scored 10 and 9 points each. Hellems (21), Smith (20), Seabron (13), and Morsell (12) combined for 66 points.
The Wolfpack played a more physical game than the Cavaliers, as evident by their 34 points in the paint to UVA’s 16. The length of NC State allowed the team to rotate and switch defensively without being outmatched by UVA’s guards and bigs. Virginia was down by 21 at one point, which tied NC State’s largest lead on the 2021-22 season since they played Bucknell in their season opener.
Overall, the Hoos were simply outplayed by NC State on both sides of the ball. As seen throughout the season, opposing teams are on a similar playing field to the Hoos than in years prior. The Hoos are coming up on a tough stretch of their schedule, as four of their next five games are against teams that are multiple games over .500, including a road game against the Duke Blue Devils. Up next, however, for the Cavaliers are the Louisville Cardinals (11-8, 5-4 ACC), who they will play on January 24th at 7 P.M. at John Paul Jones Arena.