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NC State navigates through pile of adversity in 53-51 win over Virginia

North Carolina State v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Among the variety of improbabilities we saw during the second half Monday night: NC State achieved a double-digit lead, NC State went 10 minutes without scoring, and DJ Funderburk fouled out shortly after a bogus double technical call. Also there was the improbability of NC State winning this game at Virginia despite those latter two things.

What a wild, mostly painful second half that ended up being, damn. I feel like I need a shot and a cigarette.


Four Factors NC State UVA
Four Factors NC State UVA
eFG% 44.1 39.0
TO% 10.6 17.7
OR% 19.4 32.4
FTR 27.5 30.0

Pace and Efficiency

NC State 53 56 94.6 91.1
UVA 51 56 91.1 94.6

NC State pushed its two-point halftime lead to 11 on a CJ Bryce three-pointer with 13:46 remaining, then didn’t score another point until there was 3:42 on the clock. Over that span, Funderburk—who had been State’s best player by far—fouled out and UVA built a four-point lead.

But just when it appeared certain that the Wolfpack was toast, Jericole Hellems finally ended the drought with a three-pointer to cut the UVA lead to one, and after a Mamadi Diakite free throw pushed the margin back to two, Markell Johnson buried a triple to give State the lead back.

Hellems made another big play by grabbing an offensive board and scoring to push the lead to three, and CJ Bryce canned a clutch elbow jumper to make it 52-47 with about 30 seconds left.

Not that the game could end in a tidy fashion, mind you. The Pack had to go and miss all three front-ends in the second half, doing so twice in the final 25 seconds to keep UVA around. Which about near killed me, but hey, I made it, and hey, we won.

And this is a big one, no doubt about that.