9:00 PM ET, March 2, 2005
Julius Hodge getting 17 points and eight assists and Jordan Collins adding 16 points in North Carolina State's 82-72 victory, Wednesday night could also have been the last home game for Virginia coach Pete Gillen, whose team lost its fourth straight and 12th in 17 games."We'll see. We'll see," Gillen said when asked if he had likely coached his last game at University Hall since the Cavaliers have failed to make the NCAA tournament for the last four years."Time will tell," Gillen said, repeating it twice more, each less audible. "We've still got one more game left and the ACC tournament."The Wolfpack (17-11, 7-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the fourth time in five games and moved into a five-way tie for fourth place in the league. They close the regular season Saturday at home against No. 4 Wake Forest.They led 12-2 after 6 minutes and let Virginia tie it three times, responding each time by pulling away again. The last time came in the second half when a 10-0 run made it 50-40.For the Wolfpack, who are making a push for NCAA tournament consideration, it was a big victory."Everybody knows where we've been, where we stand and what lies ahead of us," coach Herb Sendek said. "We just have been taking one game at a time and we are playing some of our better basketball as we come down the home stretch, and we certainly have to continue to do that."Virginia (13-13, 4-11) went 8-1 to start the season, but now faces a regular season finale at Florida State (11-17, 3-11) on Sunday in a battle for last place in the conference.Virginia has won just once in seven ACC road games this year, and freshman guard Sean Singletary said they didn't play hard enough against the Wolfpack on a night when there should have been even more motivation."I think down the stretch, we didn't fight," he said.The Cavaliers tied it at 40 on T.J. Bannister's 15-footer with 17:03 left.But very quickly, Collins got free inside, Engin Atsur and Collins hit consecutive 3-pointers and Tony Bethel added two free throws to make it 50-40.Virginia rallied again, using a 9-4 run to get within 54-49, but the Wolfpack never let them get closer than five points the rest of the way.University administrators have declined to comment on Gillen's future, other than to say expectations were high going into the season. Gillen has six years remaining on a contract paying him an average of $900,000 per year, but a new 15,000-seat arena is due to open in 2006.The loss also made an NIT bid more than a little sketchy for the Cavaliers, who will need to win at Florida State or twice in the ACC tournament to have a chance of finishing with the .500 record required for the NIT.Hodge took only five shots, but his assist total was one more than Virginia managed. Bethel added 16 points and Ilian Evtimov had 12.Singletary led Virginia with 17 points, while Jason Cain and Smith each had 13 and Gary Forbes added 12.Brown, who played just 4 minutes when the Cavaliers won 64-62 in Raleigh, N.C., on Feb. 5, started his final home game and struggled. He missed his first five free throws, dropping him to 3-for-18 from the line in his last two home games, then made one to loud, sarcastic applause.He finished with five points and seven rebounds.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-51 (.471)||25-59 (.424)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-20 (.400)||6-21 (.286)|
|FT Made-Attempted||26-38 (.684)||16-23 (.696)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||29 (0/0)|