NC State came into the game averaging just under 16 fastbreak points per game, good for 9th in all of Division 1 basketball. The Wolfpack were held to just two fastbreak points, while the Cavaliers had nine points in transition.
Virginia attempted just eight three-pointers in the game, but outscored NC State 32-12 in the paint. UVA was able to consistently get quality looks inside and the Cavaliers shot 44.7% from the floor.
NC State was forced to settle for perimeter looks. 27 of the 57 shots the Wolfpack took were threes. NC State went 8/27 from beyond the arc (29.6%).
NC State collected 13 offensive rebounds and scored 11 second-chance points and won the rebounding battle 37-31.
Virginia got to the free throw line with much more frequency than NC State. UVA was 19/24 on foul shots as compared to 4/7 for NC State, another product of the contrasting shot selection between the two teams.
37 of NC State's 50 points came from two players - Terquavion Smith (19 points) and Casey Morsell (18 points).
Virginia's scoring production was spread out with three different players in double figures and seven players scoring in the game.
Virginia's defense bounces back in a big way
After the Cavaliers played perhaps their worst defensive game of the season in Saturday's loss at Virginia Tech, UVA delivered arguably its best defensive performance of the season against an NC State team that had won eight of its last nine games. The Wolfpack brought in the ACC's No. 1 scoring offense at 79.6 points per game, but the Cavaliers held them to just 50 points on 33.3% shooting.
Jayden Gardner finding an offensive rhythm
For the first couple of months of the season, Jayden Gardner struggled to find his place in UVA's offensive system. After leading the Cavaliers in scoring last season, he simply wasn't being relied on as much to produce on the offensive end with UVA having more scoring options. Over the last four games, though, Gardner has been picking his spots extremely well and appears to have rediscovered some rhythm on the offensive end. After scoring more than 17 points just once through the first 18 games of the season, Gardner has scored 17 or more points in each of the last four games and is averaging 18.3 points per game over that stretch. He had 18 points on 6/12 shooting and made all six of his free throw attempts against NC State on Tuesday.
Resurgent Kadin Shedrick
One big part of UVA's smothering team defensive performance was the outstanding play of Kadin Shedrick, who, after not playing at all in Virginia's loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday, was exceptional on both ends of the floor. Shedrick recorded 10 points on 3/5 shooting and added six rebounds. But more importantly, he played excellent defense on DJ Burns, who had been averaging over 20 points per game over the last five contests. Burns had just eight points and turned the ball over six times, thanks in large part to Kadin Shedrick's unwavering on-ball defense.
Isaac McKneely developing a clutch gene
McKneely has continued to impress in his freshman season at UVA as a sharpshooter, a passer, a defender, and a rebounder. On Tuesday night, he did all of those things and then added another shocking element as he elevated and rejected a dunk attempt from NC State's Greg Gantt late in the second half. McKneely then drilled a clutch three-pointer that essentially put the game away with less than 90 seconds left in regulation. The true freshman finished with eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal and the confidence McKneely is showing on both ends of the floor in late-game situations has been remarkable.
Virginia is now 18-4 overall and 10-3 in ACC play. The Cavaliers are currently in a three-way tie with Pittsburgh and Clemson for first place atop the ACC standings. UVA hosts Duke on Saturday at 4pm at John Paul Jones Arena.
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