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Cavaliers hold off Pack, 61-60

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N.C. State's Mark Gottfried reacts to a foul called on the Wolfpack during the second half of the Pack's 61-60 loss to Virginia. ETHAN HYMAN -

RALEIGH — N.C. State made one 3-pointer in the final minute of Saturday's game against Virginia. It needed one more.

Lorenzo Brown's 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer and Virginia escaped with a 61-60 road win over the Wolfpack at the RBC Center.

Scott Wood's 3-pointer from the left corner with 46.3 seconds left gave State (15-7, 4-3 ACC) a chance to complete a 10-point comeback in the second half against one of the best defensive teams in the country.

After Virginia's Sammy Zeglinski missed a jumper from the free-throw line with 12 seconds left, State got the ball back with one last chance. Brown dribbled right and tried to get the ball to Wood on the right wing but couldn't and forced up a shot at the buzzer that didn't reach the rim.

The Cavaliers hit 60 percent of their shots in the first half to build a 38-31 halftime lead. They cooled off in the second half but they never let N.C. State's offense get going.

Forward Mike Scott (18 points) and Zeglinski (12 points) had every answer for the Wolfpack, which dropped its second straight ACC game.

Unlike Thursday's loss at North Carolina, N.C. State was in the game in the second half, down just 47-45 after forward C.J. Leslie's jumper over Scott with 10 minutes left in the game.

Wood had an atypical shooting effort (3 of 11) from outside, while Leslie carried the Pack's offense from the post. Leslie finished with a team-best 17 points and forward Richard Howell finished with 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, and all the hustle plays necessary to win a tight conference game, but State couldn't convert its opportunities.

At 8:41, and down 49-45, Brown missed a layup, which led to a 3-pointer from Virginia's Joe Harris.

At 5:41, and down 55-47, Alex Johnson missed a layup in transition, then got the ball back after a scrum and missed the putback. State retained possession after Johnson's second miss, and then Johnson missed a 3 from the right corner.

UVa got off to a fast start behind Zeglinski. The senior guard entered the game shooting just 23 percent (9 of 39) in ACC play but he hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half. Virginia made five 3s in the first half — more than it had in any of its first five ACC games.


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One you'll never hear and one you'll never see.

Something you'll never hear (from Wanda Sykes on the Tonight Show): "Who's that ugly chick with Clooney?"

Something you'll never see: Herb Sendek doing what Coach Gottfried is doing in the picture accompanying this article.


Haha, yes, it's called "The Limbo" and preseason, MG set the bar pretty low. Perhaps he's raised it a bit now?

Ayers shouldn't be allowed

Ayers shouldn't be allowed to call another State game. He's screwed the Pack all year long, and two of the calls of CJL and at least one on Howell were complete fabrications.

That being said, State didn't deserve to win because they gave up 9 points at the free throw line, missed all but two of their 3-point shots (thanks, Scott...), and the coaches completely neglected to take advantage of UVa's two midget guards. Any player being guarded by Zeglinski or Evans should've immediately taken them to the rim, or posted them up and demanded the ball. Poor recognition of mismatches.

Very bad loss, even though just one point to a 'ranked' team. UVa's not that good, and should've been a "W" at home. Opportunity lost. NIT bound, barring a miracle finish.

I don't know

I agree with what JPD said earlier this season: The ACC is kinda down and i'll bet my bottom dollar state beats Dook at least once. That means they still have one more bad game to lose and still manage a possible 10-6 in the ACC.
9-7 or 8-8 is more likely, though.

9-7 for the pack and a date in the semis on a Saturday in March could put them in The Dance.

Mixed emotions

If you had told me before the season started that the Pack would be 9-7 in the ACC this year, I would have been ecstatic. Now, I have to admit that I would be disappointed. It would mean (probably) that they lost to Duke, UNC again, Fla State and had one other "bad" loss, going 5-4 for the rest of the season.

The UVa game hurt, because it was the most winnable of the 5 games that could be considered quality wins. Now they are 0-2 in those 5 games, with Duke in Cameron and home against UNC and Fla State remaining. I believe that winning in 2 of those 3 games would allow for one more bad loss, get them to 11-5 and off the bubble. 10-6 with one quality win gets them off the bubble only with two wins in the ACC tourney.  9-7 with no quality wins puts them in the NIT.

What's frustrating is that have come so close, but just haven't been able to pull off that quality win. That said, I have noticed a refreshing amount of patience expressed by Pack fans, at least the ones that post here and make comments on the N&O web-site articles. I think many of us appreciate the level of effort and commitment this team has made this year, especially after enduring the selfishness and disfunction that reigned during the Sid years. Hence the shared optimism despite the lack of quality wins so far this year.

February in the ACC should be damn interesting.   


9-7 sounds pretty reasonable right now.  And while it may disappoint some people (not many, I hope), that would be a great improvement from what the previous coaching staff was able to do.

Most of us knew we would lose the UNC game, but what stings about the UVA game is the way in which we lost...and I know you disagree with me gatr, but many of us really feel that State outplayed UVA.  Like I've pointed out several times, UVA only made 4 buckets in the entire 2nd half...we really started to shut them down on D.  It sucks when you feel like you constantly have to play against the refs...this has been a constant throughout the State careers of all three coaches of my short Wolfpack fandom tenure.  I will say this though: for possibly the first time since I've been watching State, we actually did have the refs on our side in the Wake Forest game earlier this season.  So, maybe there is some hope on that front.


Oh btw gatr, that was not me in the Dean Dome last week.  Haha, glad whoever it was made you guys think of me and YAR though.  To be honest, I don't plan on getting my lady pregnant for another 5-10 years.  Perhaps I'm a lot younger than some of you expected, not sure.  Either way, I do think it would be awesome to get an ACCNow crew together for a football game some time.  We should work on this for next year.

The day after

Tough week in the JPD household. Started off with the wife rushing down to Columbus for my daughter's emergency appendectomy on Monday. Then two painful losses by the Pack and YSU losing big to miss an opportunity to tie for 1st place in the Horizon League. Glad that week's behind me.

Yet, today, the sun is shining (rare for NE Ohio in the winter), wife is home, daughter is recovering nicely. You hate to go through those things, but they do provide a necessary perspective check. 

The Pack and Penguins now can get back to work at turning things around. All is not lost in either team's case. Here's what the Pack needs to do to get back on track:

  1. Focus on perimeter defense as the #1 priority. If they had defended in the first half last night like they did in the second, they would have won, even with the struggles on offense.
  2. Start the game with set plays to get Scott open looks, early and often. Opposing defenses have focused on him all year. So, if they can emphasize setting picks and screens to get him going early, that will open things up for everyone else. That will also set the tone for getting more movement right from the start. As it is now, I see too much standing around.
  3. Plant Richard Howell at the foul line in practice and have him take thousands of free throws. Scott can help him. I love his game. I love his intensity. But he has to get better at the foul line to be a complete player. By the way, I have no problem with Richard fouling out last night. I don't recall any of his fouls being the dumb ones that have made me crazy all year.
  4. Suggestions for the point guards.
  • I hate to be critical of Lorenzo Brown, because he has been outstanding all year. I loved his intensity on defense last night. However, on offense, I feel like he has gotten a little tentative, especially when taking it to the hoop. He has had too many layups either missed or blocked in the last few games. I attribute that to not taking it in strong enough. I think the same thing happened on the last play last night, as he backed off when he got challenged. (Good D by UVa, by the way). Maybe a stronger move to the hoop draws a foul that wins it at the foul line (although he needs to spend more time practicing free throws too. He should be better than he is).
  • Alex Johnson needs to tone it down. When he gets the ball on the break, I expect something bad to happen. Whether it is a missed layup, a blocked shot after going 1-on-3, or a bad pass, he hurries too much. He needs to use his speed and quickness in a more controlled fashion and take less chances. Use his strengths and acknowledge his weaknesses when making decisions.

I like this team, despite the hiccups this past week. These guys care and they have a coach who cares. I don't expect them to give up and I certainly don't intend to either. The ACC will be a 5 bid league. It may be down this year, but look around the country. Everybody is beating up everybody else. There is time to make the case that needs to be made.

Go Pack!

Glad your daughter is

Glad your daughter is recovering!! My daughter's appendix ruptured and she ended up staying in the hospital for a week.

Only saw the last few minutes of the game against UVA. Was really hoping that last shot would go in. If a couple of should haves, had went the other way and it would have been a different outcome. I know close doesn't count, but it doesn't deflate your energy for the next game as much as a blow-out would.

Glad to hear that your

Glad to hear that your daughter is recovering nicely. Thats a scary situation. 

Didn't see the game, but your analysis makes sense after looking at the box score. A fat 3 point percentage for the Hoos. Looks like the Pack did a nice job in the other areas. 

Hopefully, now that Hewitt is gone, the Heels can get this GT monkey off their backs. 

Your daughter

Glad she is recovering nicely, jpd.

Missed it

I watched the whole game, but somehow I missed the limbo contest. Must have been grabbing a beer when it happened. Who won?


Picture pretty much sums it all up...and I don't think he was praising Jesus.

Welcome to NC State basketball, coach Gottfried.  For what it's worth, I'd rather see you get T'ed up or ejected every game instead of trying to fight through the bad calls.  Otherwise, everyone just forgets about it and pretends nothing happened.  Hell, coach K made his complaints in the mid 80's, and they've been winning ever since...

Scott Wood curse

I think his words were, "1 point or 33 points, it's still a loss". Kinda prophetic, huh?

State played rather well, just have a few things to work on.


That one hurt. Hurt to watch. Hurt any small thread of an NCAA tourney bid. Hurt to keep all of those F bombs I wanted to say inside instead of letting them fly around the fam on our walk out to the car from the RBC.

Not a whole lot to add that hasn't already been covered by JPD and Max. I'll just say that every one of their assesments of the game are correct.

Really wish I would have had an Ol' Roy BB gun so I could have peppered the hell out of Ayers. That guy is a joke that is not funny.

Oh well. At least Angus Barn was great.

( Angus Barn ) ....Great

( Angus Barn ) ....Great place to deposit the depression of a loss.

Sincere question, NCSU fan(s)..

Did NCSU lose to UNC twice or is there a fly in the ointment. This is not a slight, but I seem to remember at the start of the season there being real excitement around the team. I've not watched any of their games, and would lilke to hear some informed opinions. I would like to see NCSU competitive, and bring back some of the good ol days of ACC basketball.

Seeing somewhere that UVA

Seeing somewhere that UVA only made 4 field goals in the entire second half.  4 field goals.

Like I keep saying, State outplayed UVA tonight.  Out-rebounded 40 to 20, and they only make 4 field goals in the second half!  What a joke.


Another loss with Roger Ayers as one of the know, the guy that was supsended from the Sun Belt Conference earlier this year.  I'm sorry, but this guy has been killing the Pack this year.  I know some refuse to listen to any discussion about referees, but just look at the freaking numbers. 

We are now 2-4 this season when Ayers works the game.   The two wins? A nine point win against Asheville, and a 5 point win against Miami (State lost a big 2nd half lead in that one...wonder why).  Also, in those six games, I know he's called at least 3 technical/flagrant fouls on State...unbelievable. 

As for Ayers in the game tonight; like I said, UVA made only 4 field goals in the 2nd half.  Of course they had 19 FT attempts in that half...State was called for 13 fouls, several of which the replay shows were complete BS.  If there were ever such thing as a phantom call, it happened at the 6:37 mark; CJL went up untouched and converted the put back on Brown's missed shot.  Roger Ayers calls a foul.  Replay clearly shows there was NO contact at all...nobody was even close to CJL.

Basically, what I'm saying is...
  from now on, if Ayers is working a State game, put all your money against the Pack.  Worked for me tonight!


That one killed me. Or damn near killed me. I kept quiet until my father-in-law, who is normally very reserved, lost his mind over that BS call. And what a bull shit call it was.

That one hurt

Painful loss, not just because it was a chance at a quality win, but because I felt the Pack gave it away. Too many missed free throws, too many missed layups, bad perimeter defense in the first half. Tough shooting day for Scott.
And still within one with a chance to win against a very good team.

Even though he fouled out, I'd give a lot of credit to Richard Howell for coming out strong after struggling the last couple of games. It was clear to me that he was determined to make a difference and he did. He has to get better at the free throw line though.

CJ Leslie started strong offensively, but seemed to disappear in the second half. It seems to me that he has gotten lazy around the boards. Has he ever blocked anyone out? Ever?

Finally, I think Lorenzo Brown is feeling the pressure of the higher expectations. He has missed more than a few layups in the past few games and his turnovers have gone up as well. It seemed to me that he panicked on that last play.

So now the Pack has 3 winnable games in a row and they have to win all of them. Of course, State has to worry about one game at a time. And worry is the wrong word. They need to relax, get back to work on the fundamentals and remember to enjoy the moment. They've hit a rough patch, but the season is far from over.

A buddy of mine called me yesterday

And said he liked the pack to cover the small tariff at home. While I didn't disagree with him, I had to give him the disclaimer that state doesn't know how to play against really good defensive teams and that is what UVa is.

UVa will never beat you on the offensive side of the court; always on the defensive side. That's what happened last night. They held the pack to 40% shooting.

And as you suggested, SW didn't show up. This is starting to become a habit. He has to be able to be in motion throughout all offensive possessions. He's a one trick pony and defenses are starting to not leave him ever.

Howell did have a good rebounding game.

Interesting point about Va.

Interesting point about Va. always beating you with defense. It doesn't seem to matter who they get as a coach, they always play the same style of ball.

Should have dumped it over

Should have dumped it over to Wood there at the end.  Don't know what Brown was thinking.

I really think State outplayed UVA today.  State had more FG attempts, twice as many rebounds, twice as many steals, more assists, and equal turnovers.  The only thing UVA really did better was 3 point shooting.  UVA went 7/15 while State went 2/15.  That's the difference right there...well, along with the wonderful officiating.

Not much Gott can do.  Like I said, State played better than UVA today...just couldn't hit a 3.

Yeah, I hear ya';

what happened to that great three point defense that served us so well in a couple of recent games?  I agree, that was what beat us tonight and the fact that SW could not hit 'em from the arc. Yeah, we may have had the stats in our favor, but a loss it is.  Take care.

Double wow

You have the ball at HC with almost eight secs to play. You call a timeout. And that was the play you designed ?! Let Lorenzo dribble the ball around and attempt a long range shot for the win ? Even though you are down a single point ?

Yup, Gottfried's doing one hell of a job.

Gotta' agree with you;

I don't know what we were trying to do there; being down by only one pt., I was looking for dribble penetration or some move that might have drawn a foul, or at least a decent pick set up for Scott; ; but then I am just a fan, not a coach.

It makes no sense

It doesn't matter whose fault it was (Gottfried or Lorenzo's). Your down one point and you're not going to the rack to draw a foul or get a second defender to commit so all you have to do is dish it off for an easy lay-up ?

I'd be pissed off as I imagine most pack fans are at the moment. You didn't outplay them tonight as someone suggested you did as you were losing all night. Then you have the opportunity to steal it in the end. A fade away 21 ft jumper for the loss. #Wastedoppurtunity

Pissed off

That's why my name is mad max.

I do think we played better than them, despite trailing for most of the game.  Like I said, the difference was 3 point shooting.

For the last play, I too expected something in the paint, but even with the breakdown, Scott Wood was standing right there in the freaking corner!  I would have been happy with that shot all day long.


I'm sure that's exactly how Gottfried drew it up.  Genius analysis there gatr.

But hey, at least our coach stays until the end of the fucking game, unlike your classless prick of a coach.  By the way, what happened to not caring about State.  You've posted more comments here than State fans...

Cats outta the bag

I guess I do care after all. :). Should I call the police and turn myself in ?


You gonna call yourself?  You seem to be the comment police every time Pack fans come and disrupt your Heels threads.

Glad to hear the truth, straight from you though gatr =).

And excuse my french, but it won't let me go back and edit.


He fouls out again. Unbelievable. Maybe they need Wojo over at state coaching their lone big man.

It's hard not to foul out

It's hard not to foul out when you get called for the stuff Howell is.

Wouldn't expect a Tar Hole to understand that though.  Your big man can play the entire game, rip down 17 rebounds, yet have zero fouls called on him.  And you don't think your team gets a break from the refs?  Lmao.

Many of us called it before the UNC game; Howell wouldn't have a chance to stay in the game.  Well I called it in this game too.  When State got within one or two possessions...BAM, several whistles on the Pack and Howell was gone.  Hell, CJL got called for two fouls where he made NO contact with anyone...explain that shit to me.

I dunno, we saw some

I dunno, we saw some horrific calls in the first half of the Heels/State game that went your way. They were outrageous. Your guys were way out of position on the boards and gave up a lot of ceiling to our frontcourt. It really didn't surprise me that Z had such a big game.

I'm not trying to have a back and forth here

But Howell is a lone man down low for your team. Hell, he had four fuls at Miami as well. Gottfried talked at great length about how he needs to learn discipline and control while playing defense. I will concede it is hard for him though bc he has no help.

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.