Point guard Lorenzo Brown finished the game with eight points and four assists in 37 minutes. Shooting guard Scott Wood had eight points in 35 minutes. N.C. State is not going to beat any quality ACC teams without production from its backcourt. State's final line of 2-of-15 from 3-point range is not part of a winning formula either. Brown needed to be more aggressive against Virginia guard Jontel Evans, who is about 4 inches shorter.
Virginia made 16 of 23 foul shots, compared to 12-for-21 for N.C. State. Richard Howell was the personification of effort, with 18 rebounds, but his 3-of-7 shooting from the free-throw line hurt. Compare that to Virginia star forward Mike Scott, who was 8-of-11 from the line.
State is back in an Ratings Percentage Index vortex with its next three games against Boston College, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. It should be 7-3 in the ACC by the time it visits Duke on Feb. 16 but it needs to start beating teams in front of it in the RPI, not just the ones behind.