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NC State falls to Virginia on senior day, 70-55

A late first-half run by UVA buried the Wolfpack

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Both NC State and Virginia were dreadful during the first 10 minutes of the game Saturday afternoon, but Virginia eventually found its footing, ending the half on a 24-6 spurt, and that was all she wrote. The Wolfpack cut a 19-point deficit to single digits in the second half but never seriously challenged, losing 70-55.

The Cavs played their typical stingy defense, but the Pack also made it a lot easier on them than it needed to be, taking bad shot after bad shot in the first half while allowing UVA to wake up. NC State hasn’t really been running an offense these last few weeks, mostly it’s just been dudes kinda freelancing however they want, and against a team like Virginia, that makes it exceptionally tough to win.

Dennis Smith and Terry Henderson tried to spark the offense with a lot of guarded pull-up jumpers, the vast majority of which missed. Those two were a combined 6-25 from the floor. Making matters worse, Maverick Rowan had an off day, the kind of day where he wasn’t even close on wide open shots.

Malik Abu had a decent afternoon and Markell Johnson had a nice day from the field, but that was far too little offense, even against a Cavs team that has been struggling to find offense of its own.

NC State’s interior defense was good today—UVA made only 12 of 31 two-point attempts. But it was once again State’s lackadaisical perimeter defense that sunk the ship; Virginia hit 11 of 16 from three, often off of wide open looks as their run snowballed in the first half.

State played some solid defense in the first 10 minutes but once UVA saw a few threes go through, the Pack slumped and lost focus—typical behavior for this season. Suddenly there was Kyle Guy wide open, and then there was Kyle Guy wide open, and then hey look it’s Kyle Guy wide open. Oh well. That’s this year.