RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- With the score tied in the final seconds,
Sean Singletary just knew he was going to make the big shot.
He was right -- just not the way he expected.
The 6-foot freshman rebounded his own miss and scored with 2.2
seconds left Saturday night to lift Virginia past North Carolina
Singletary finished with 11 points and two key buckets late for
the Cavaliers (11-9, 2-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who blew a
14-point lead midway through the second half but still held on for
their first win here since 1997.
"At the end, I had the confidence that I knew was going to make
the shot," Singletary said. "It came off (the rim), but I got it
back. It was right there so I didn't have anything else to do but
The Cavaliers shuffled their lineup, benching tri-captain and
second-leading scorer Elton Brown for the first time this season to
get more speed on the court. They changed their style of play,
using a spread offense that slowed the game down and created
dribble penetration opportunities for Singletary, Bannister and
The 6-9 Brown, who came in averaging 15 points and nine rebounds
per game, finished with seven points in four minutes. But it all
paid off when Singletary's stickback stunned the RBC Center crowd.
"We weren't real big," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said, "but
we played with courage."
For the Wolfpack (13-9, 3-6), it was another disappointing ACC
loss in a season that is rapidly deteriorating. N.C. State was
ranked No. 12 nationally in December, but has lost eight of 11
games to fall near the bottom of the league.
Tony Bethel scored 20 points to lead the Wolfpack, and freshman
Cedric Simmons had a career-best 16 points in his first start. But
Julius Hodge, the reigning ACC player of the year, finished with
just six points on five shots.
"Obviously we don't feel good about the way things have gone
for us," N.C. State coach Herb Sendek said. "Our guys hurt. But
that's part of it. You've got to be able to deal with different
Unfortunately for N.C. State, it couldn't deal with Singletary
in the final minute.
First, he hit a runner in the lane over the 6-9 Simmons for a
62-61 lead with 1:11 to play.
Then, after Simmons hit a free throw to tie it with 16.3 seconds
left, Singletary drove into the lane and missed a runner against
Bethel. But despite being the shortest player on the court, he
managed to grab the loose ball and lay it up.
"Sean's a fighter," Smith said. "He wants to win as bad as
anybody I know. For him to take those shots, it just shows that he
has a lot of confidence in his game."
The clock stopped with 1.7 seconds left, but officials reviewed
video footage and changed the time to 2.2 seconds.
That set up an unusual final sequence in which the Wolfpack
essentially got two chances to tie the game.
The officials restored the 2.2 seconds, giving the Wolfpack one
more chance. But forward Jason Cain intercepted Brackman's second
heave to seal the win.
It was a much better defensive effort for the Cavaliers, who
were coming off a 98-79 loss to Providence in which they allowed
Donnie McGrath to tie an NCAA record by going 9-for-9 from 3-point
range. N.C. State shot just 40 percent, including 5-for-20 from
behind the arc.
But it seemed to be their unusual style of offense that caught
the Wolfpack off guard.
The Cavaliers used a 14-3 run spanning halftime -- getting
several open looks off penetration -- to take a 37-23 lead less than
a minute after the break.
The Wolfpack fought back, pushing the ball inside and playing
better defense to close that gap. N.C. State scored 12 straight
points midway through the half, taking a 48-45 lead on a transition
layup from Bethel.
But the Wolfpack couldn't sustain that momentum.
"Losing isn't fun," Hodge said. "I'm a winner. All I've done
in my life is win and work hard. This doesn't feel good at all."