State Now

NC State looks to end drought at Virginia

How Virginia and senior Malcolm Brogdon, left, do defending N.C. State’s Cat Barber will determine whether the Wolfpack can get their first win in Cahrlottesville since 2005.
How Virginia and senior Malcolm Brogdon, left, do defending N.C. State’s Cat Barber will determine whether the Wolfpack can get their first win in Cahrlottesville since 2005. ehyman@newsobserver.com

It has been a long time since N.C. State won a basketball game at Virginia.

How long?

John Paul Jones Arena wasn’t built yet and Herb Sendek was still the Wolfpack’s coach.

N.C. State (13-12, 3-9 ACC) has lost six straight games on the road to the seventh-ranked Cavaliers (20-5, 9-4). The Wolfpack will try to break that streak, and an eight-game regular-season losing skid, to Tony Bennett’s Virginia program on Monday night.

The Wolfpack’s last win in Charlottesville, Va. came at University Hall, 82-72 on March 2, 2005. Oddly enough, N.C. State lost its next game that season, 55-53 at home to Wake Forest. That was the last time the Wolfpack lost a home game to the Demon Deacons.

N.C. State got 38 points from junior point guard Cat Barber on Saturday to beat the Deacs 99-88 for the 11th straight time in Raleigh.

After scoring its most points in an ACC game since 1992, Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried expects the typical defensive grinder from Virginia on Monday.

“It’s going to be a difficult game,” Gottfried said. “They’re very, very good. We understand that. We know that.”

Virginia is coming off of a 63-62 loss at Duke on Saturday afternoon. While the Cavaliers have been vulnerable on the road in the ACC, they have gone 3-4 away from JPJ Arena this season, they are unbeaten in six ACC home games.

Bennett, who led the Cavaliers to the 2014 ACC title and the regular-season championship in each of the past two seasons, has a 23-1 record in ACC home games since the start of the 2013-14 season.

Virginia remains one of the best defensive teams in the ACC, a hallmark of Bennett’s coaching style. The Cavaliers lead the ACC in scoring defense, 59.6 points per game. The Cavaliers have allowed only 57.8 points per ACC home game, compared to 62.3 on the road.

But Virginia has been better on offense. This has been Bennett’s highest-scoring team in seven seasons at UVa. The Wahoos average 71.4 points per game, which is the only time they have cracked the 70-point mark under Bennett.

The Cavaliers also rank No. 8 in the country in field goal percentage (49.5). None of Bennett’s first six teams were ranked higher than No. 54 in shooting.

The biggest challenge for Virginia’s defense will be containing Barber. Over the past seven league games, the junior guard from Newport News, Va. has averaged 30.1 points per game, made 52.3 percent of his field goals and averaged 39.6 minutes per game.

One of the road blocks to Barber’s budding candidacy for ACC player of the year is fifth-year Virginia senior Malcolm Brogdon, who is averaging 17.7 points per game and is considered one of the best defenders in the ACC.

Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio

Virginia is for losers

N.C. State has lost its last six trips to Charlottesville and has yet to win a game at John Paul Jones Arena.

DATE

RESULT

COACH

Jan. 7, 2015

L, 61-51

Mark Gottfried

Jan. 29, 2013

L, 58-55

Mark Gottfried

March 1, 2011

L, 69-58

Sidney Lowe

Feb. 3, 2010

L, 59-47

Sidney Lowe

Feb. 24, 2008

L, 78-60

Sidney Lowe

Dec. 3, 2006

L, 67-62

Sidney Lowe

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