Quick hits and notes from NC State's 76-45 loss to Virginia in front of 15,623 fans at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday evening.
Play of the game
When the game is decided by 31 points after the winning team jumped out to a 21-4 lead and never led by fewer than 18 points once they went up 28-9, it's hard to pinpoint a "play of the game." We are nevertheless going to go with Virginia freshman point guard London Perrantes, who was averaging 4.4 points per game and shooting 27.1 percent from the field coming into Saturday, getting free down the middle of the lane for a layup to give Virginia an early 4-1 lead.
Highlight of the game
Perhaps the only memorable play of the game for NC State also was probably the most highlight-worthy moment, ironically. Virginia sophomore center Mike Tobey went up for a dunk with 10:59 to go in the game only to have Wolfpack freshman center BeeJay Anya stop him at the rim, one of Anya's four blocks in the contest.
Player of the game
Other than being rejected at the rim by Anya, Tobey had little go wrong for him. He had a co-game high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots in 24 minutes. Tobey was just two points off his career-high, which he set against Davidson on Nov. 26. Coming into Saturday, Tobey had scored in double figures just twice in the last 11 games after starting the year reaching at least 10 points in three of the first four contests. Tobey had actually been held scoreless twice in the previous five games.
Kudos to Virginia
NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said the game was a perfect storm. Part of that equation was how well Virginia played, especially in the first half when Virginia made 18 of 30 shots (60.0 percent), outrebounded State 16-9 and forced nine NCSU turnovers compared to just three of their own. All that added up to a 48-25 halftime lead for the Cavs.
The 48 points were the second most in a half this year for the Cavs, traditionally a low-scoring team under head coach Tony Bennett. They had 51 points against Missouri State in the second half Nov. 30.
Because the Cavs went cold in the second half (11 of 32 for 34.4 percent), they ended the game making 46.8 percent of their field goals. Thus the 76 total points tied for the second most in a game this year for Virginia behind the 83 versus Missouri State.
NC State on the other hand
The other part of the perfect storm Gottfried was talking about was a performance in the first half on both ends of the court that the third-year Pack coach called "pitiful" and added that he didn't think NCSU could have played any worse.
The Pack's final points production of 45 points shattered by 12 the previous low this year set during a 12-point loss at Cincinnati Nov. 12. And NC State actually did do worse in the second half, shooting-wise, making just 6 of 26 after the break (23.1 percent) to lower their overall field goal percentage for the game to 28.9 percent. Their previous worst in 2013-14 had also been at Cincinnati (32.8 percent). The 13 made field goals were a team record for the fewest NC State had made in a game at the PNC Arena.
Wolfpack star sophomore forward T.J. Warren had by far his worst game of the season, and not even a change in shoes at halftime could make a difference for him. Warren made just 1 of 9 shots for four points, held to single digits in scoring for the first time since first-round loss to Temple in the NCAA Tournament last year.
The Pack barely even had anyone in double figures. Junior wing Desmond Lee and redshirt junior wing Ralston Turner both finished with 10 points.
The final overall result is NC State's worst home loss since UNC dropped the Pack by 33 in 1993.
What the loss means
Virginia improved to 12-4 and 3-0 in the ACC while NC State fell to 11-5 and 1-2 in the conference. NC State still leads the overall series against the Cavs, 82-60, and the Pack is 41-21 in games played in Raleigh. However, it should be noted that Virginia has won three in a row on NC State's court.
Other stats of note
- Virginia outrebounded NC State 40-28 overall, but what was more eye-popping was a 13-6 edge on the offensive glass for the Cavaliers despite the fact that NCSU shot so poorly. The Wahoos had a 11-8 edge in second chance points.
- Virginia crushed NC State in the paint, 38-16.
- When the Cavs had nine steals compared to one for State and Virginia won the turnover margin 16-7, you'd expect the Wahoos to have a 12-4 edge in fast break points. Similarly, Virginia's 22-8 edge in points off turnovers was not surprising either.
- NCSU's reserves outscored Virginia's bench 21-15.