GREENSBORO, NC - NC State used a 22 point, 12 rebound effort from forward Richard Howell to advance to the second round of the ACC Tournament, beating Virginia Tech 80-63.
"Howell's been a load for everybody all year, and he was a load tonight," said Hokies head coach Jamie Johnson. "He did it all tonight, we had no answer for him."
NC State led by just six at the half, 38-32, but used an 11-0 run in the 2nd half to lead by as many as 21 and put the game out of reach.
The game ended the brilliant college career of Virginia Tech's Erick Green. Green led the nation in scoring this year, but for just the third time this season failed to lead the Hokies in scoring. He finished with 15 points on 5-for-19 shooting, while forward Jarell Eddie led Virginia Tech with 21 points.
Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried used guard Lorenzo Brown - who also added nine points and 12 assists - to slow down Green.
"I thought Lorenzo was terrific in his one-on-one defense with Green," said Coach Gottfired. "We were active. We were quick. We rotated better. I think that was probably the key to the game."
For Green, it was a frustrating end to a season in which he set the Hokies' single season scoring record with 786 points and was named the ACC Player of the Year.
"The first half kind of caught me off guard," admitted Green. "I saw a lot of double teams and just staying with me off the pick and rolls. You have to give all of the credit to NC State."
For Hokies first-year head coach Jamie Johnson, who has known Green since high school, it was a proud but tough end.
"He's a much better kid than he is a basketball player," Johnson said. "That's what I'm most proud of, the type of young man he is. That carried over into our team this year."
Green will graduate this May, then look to the next level in the NBA.
Virginia Tech finishes the season at 13-19, while the Wolfpack improves to 23-9 and advance to face fourth seed Virginia at 2:30 on Friday.