NC State 74, Virginia Tech 54
by Chris James, TechSideline.com, 2/26/05

Raleigh, NC -- After celebrating two tremendous home wins over Duke and Miami to put themselves on "The Bubble", Virginia Tech found the going a little tougher on the road. The Hokies traveled to Raleigh on Saturday afternoon and lost to NC State 74-54 in a game that was never close. The loss drops the Hokies to 14-11 on the season, 7-7 in the ACC, and Tech is now tied for fourth in the ACC with Maryland and Georgia Tech.

Tech jumped out to an early 4-0 lead behind a right wing jumper from Coleman Collins and a dunk by Deron Washington. Those baskets came in the first 1:16 of the game. Unfortunately for the Hokies, they didnít hit another shot until Carlos Dixon got a layup to fall with 11:17 remaining in the first half. NC State used that slump by Tech to go on a 17-0 run that began and ended with three-pointers. The first came from guard Tony Bethel, who didnít play when the Hokies beat the Wolfpack in Blacksburg. The last came from Elian Evtimov. NC State hit 3 three-pointers during the run, and it was a sign of things to come.

Unlike previous contests this season where the Hokies always managed to scratch and claw their way back into the game, this one was controlled by NC State to the very end. Tech did manage to cut the lead to single digits twice in the first half, but NC State always had an answer. After Zabian Dowdell scored four consecutive points to cut the lead to 17-10, the Wolfpack went on a 6-0 run to widen the gap to 13 yet again. At the 3:45 mark in the first half, Shawn Harris hit a free throw to make it an eight-point game, 26-18. However, NC State scored four consecutive points to push the lead back to 12.

Jamon Gordon made the score 30-20 on a layup with 23 seconds left, but Stateís Jordan Collins hit a wide open three-pointer to end the first half, giving the Wolfpack the momentum and a 33-20 lead heading into the break.

The second half saw NC State extend their lead, thanks to more Tech turnovers and hot shooting by the Wolfpack. NC State quickly jumped out to a 20 point lead at the 15:42 mark, and lead by as many as 27 points.

ACC Standings
(after Sunday's games)
Team ACC Overall
North Carolina 12-2 24-3
Wake Forest 11-3 24-4
Duke 10-4 21-4
Georgia Tech 7-7 16-9
Virginia Tech 7-7 14-11
Maryland 7-8 16-10
Miami 7-8 16-10
NC State 6-8 16-11
Virginia 4-10 13-12
Clemson 4-10 14-13
Florida State 3-11 11-17

They key statistics for this game were shooting and turnovers. Tech shot just 38% from the field and uncharacteristically turned the ball over 18 times, most of them unforced. NC State did what they needed to do to win. They took advantage of the Hokiesí turnover problems by converting them into 24 points. Overall, NC State shot 49% from the field. They also demolished Tech from three-point range, hitting 11 of 22 from beyond the arc. Engin Atsur, who led State with 18 points, was 4-4 from three-point range. The Wolfpack also did a good job of protecting the basketball, with just 10 turnovers. In the first meeting between the two teams in Blacksburg, Tech won the turnover margin battle 17-10.

Zabian Dowdell led Tech with 12 points, going 3-4 from three-point range. Dowdell was the only Tech player to score in double figures. Carlos Dixon, the teamís second leading scorer, had more turnovers (5) than points (4). Dixon shot just 1-6 from the field and was 0-4 from three-point range. Coleman Collins only scored 4 points for Tech and was limited to just four shots from the field, as his teammates virtually ignored him in the half-court offense. He did not have a free throw attempt in 26 minutes of action.

As poor a game offensively as this was for Tech, it was not their worst output of the season. The Hokies scored just 51 points against UNC. Freshman point guard Marquie Cooke saved his team from that embarrassment by hitting a left wing three-pointer with 14 seconds to play, making the score 74-54.

Virginia Tech returns to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Clemson for a crucial ACC game. The Clemson game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 pm and will be televised by on Regional SportsNet (Comcast SportsNet, Fox SportsNet, Sunshine Network).


VIRGINIA TECH (54)

                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
Z Dowdell           34   4-7   1-2   1-4   1   0   12
D Washington        13   2-3   2-2   1-1   1   3    6
J Gordon            36  3-12   2-4   2-7   2   4    9
C Dixon             30   1-6   2-2   2-6   1   1    4
C Collins           26   2-4   0-0   2-7   0   2    4
S Harris             7   1-1   5-6   1-1   1   1    7
W Witherspoon        4   0-0   1-2   0-0   0   0    1
R Krabbendam        11   0-0   0-0   0-1   0   0    0
M Cooke             16   3-5   2-6   0-0   0   4    9
A Calloway           6   1-2   0-2   1-1   0   0    2
J King              11   0-3   0-0   0-1   2   2    0
C Tucker             6   0-2   0-0   2-4   0   2    0
  
_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 17-45 15-26 12-33   8  19   54
_____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.378, FT-.577. 3-Point Goals:
5-12, .417 (Z Dowdell 3-4, J Gordon 1-2, C 
Dixon 0-4, M Cooke 1-2). Team Rebounds: 1. 
Blocked Shots: 1 (C Dixon). Turnovers: 18 (C 
Dixon 5, Z Dowdell 3, D Washington 3, C 
Collins 2, R Krabbendam 2, J Gordon, C 
Tucker, W Witherspoon). Steals: 3 (Z Dowdell 
2, J Gordon).


NO CAROLINA ST (74)

                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
I Evtimov           33   6-9   0-0   0-6   2   2   14
E Atsur             36   5-6   4-4   1-4   0   4   18
T Bethel            29   3-6   2-2   0-3   6   3   10
J Hodge             32   2-8   4-8   1-8   5   0    8
J Collins           27  4-10   3-4   0-0   0   2   14
W Roach              1   0-1   0-0   0-0   1   1    0
B Albritton          1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
G Grant             12   1-1   1-2   0-1   0   1    3
C Bennerman          9   1-3   0-0   1-3   3   2    2
L Watkins            1   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0    2
C Simmons            7   1-4   0-0   1-2   0   5    2
A Brackman          12   0-0   1-2   1-1   0   1    1
  
_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 24-49 15-22  5-28  17  21   74
_____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.490, FT-.682. 3-Point Goals:
11-22, .500 (I Evtimov 2-4, E Atsur 4-4, T 
Bethel 2-4, J Hodge 0-2, J Collins 3-6, W 
Roach 0-1, C Bennerman 0-1). Team Rebounds: 
0. Blocked Shots: 5 (J Collins 3, I Evtimov, 
C Simmons). Turnovers: 9 (I Evtimov 2, J 
Hodge, J Collins, T Bethel, C Bennerman, E 
Atsur, G Grant, C Simmons). Steals: 7 (J 
Collins 2, T Bethel 2, E Atsur 2, J Hodge).


-----------------------------------
VIRGINIA TECH        20  34   -  54
NO CAROLINA ST       33  41   -  74
----------------------------------- 

Technical fouls: None. A: 16,647. Officials: Jamie
Luckie, Karl Hess, Mike Wood


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