NC State cruises past UVa in ACCs

NC State cruises past UVa in ACCs
March 15, 2013, 4:45 pm
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For the 2nd straight year NC State knocked Virginia out of the ACC Tournament in the quarterfinals. But unlike last season's three point nail-biter, this year's contest wasn't close. 

The Wolfpack were led by Scott Wood's 23 points - including seven three pointers - en route to a convincing 75-56 victory. T.J. Warren added 18 points, and Richard Howell gathered 12 rebounds for NC State who move on to the semifinals and a date with top-seed Miami on Saturday.   

Wood became NC State's all-time leading three point shooter with 326 as he opened up the 2nd half with three straight three pointers in a 90-second span. 

Virginia guard Joe Harris had a front row seat for Wood's hot shooting. "A couple them, I felt like he got a rest for just a moment. It allows him to get a little bit of space, and that's all he needs to knock down a shot," Harris remarked.

The Cavaliers couldn't keep pace, shooting just 38.9% (21 of 54) for the game, and only 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. 

Just as they did in their regular season finale against Maryland, Virginia got off to a slow start. 

"We talked about obviously trying to start the right way," said Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett. "But we were sluggish, missed a few easy ones and a couple of turnovers. That's what was the discouraging part, some of those breakdowns we had. You can't afford [them] against a team like this."

Virginia has not made it to semifinals of the ACC Tournament since 1995, continuing the longest drought in the conference. Forward Akil Mitchell, who led the Cavaliers with 19 points, struggled to explain the lack of success. 

"Last year I guess we had a few guys banged up. That's no excuse, [we are] just struggling to find our way here," said Mitchell. "But I have faith in our team, hopefully we have some more basketball left."  

The Cavaliers (21-11) must now wait until Sunday to see if they get an invite to the NCAA tournament. They earned their first trip since 2007 last year with a 20-10 record. 

"We battled our way to get to where we're in the conversation to get in the NCAA tournament," said head coach Tony Bennett. "If not that, to play in an NIT. I hope we're not on the NIT bubble too," Bennett said through a grin.