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.
State (15-7, 4-3 ACC) held the 19th-ranked Cavaliers (17-3, 4-2) to four field goals in the second half and nearly erased a 10-point deficit, but it came up short in its fourth straight loss to UVa.
"My heart aches for my team," State coach Mark Gottfried said. "My team played their hearts out. Our effort was phenomenal."
There were no residual effects from Thursday's 19-point loss in Chapel Hill for the Wolfpack, it just couldn't convert its chances against one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Scott Wood's 3-pointer from the left corner with 46.3 seconds left cut Virginia's lead to 61-60. Then Virginia's Sammy Zeglinski missed a jumper from the free-throw line with 12 seconds left.
State got the ball back, down one point, with one last chance to win. Brown dribbled right from the top of the key and tried to get the ball to Wood on the right wing, but UVa guards Jontel Evans and Zeglinski cut off his penetration. Brown pulled up and forced a shot at the buzzer that didn't reach the rim.
"I think if he had been able to turn the corner, he would have a kicked it, but I think they did a good job defensively to force a tough shot," Wood said.
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 74-55 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. He was 1 of 7 from 3-point range before his jumper from the left corner with 46.3 seconds left.
"I'm not there to be Ben Wallace in the paint and block every shot," Wood said. "I'm there to knock down shots, and I didn't do that tonight."
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.