Balanced Wolfpack attack sends NC State past Virginia, 76-60

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team cruised past Virginia, 76-60, Saturday afternoon at PNC Arena to stay undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference Play. [PHOTO GALLERY]

The Pack’s 3-0 ACC start is the program’s best start in conference play since the 2012-13 team won its first three ACC games.

The Cavaliers led by as many as six points in the first half and had a 19-15 lead coming out of the under-eight media timeout, but the Pack got a boost when Dennis Parker, Jr., swished a desperation three-pointer from 30-feet to beat the shot clock.

Parker, Jr.’s three jump started a 20-9 run to close the first half for the Pack as NC State went into the locker room with a 35-28 halftime advantage. 

NC State came out of the gates hot in the second half, outscoring Virginia 14-4 across the opening six minutes of play. A three-point play by Parker, Jr., capped off an 8-0 scoring run that gave the Pack a 49-32 lead with 14:50 left to play.

Virginia never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

Three members of the Pack scored in double-figures, led by Parker, Jr. and Jayden Taylor with 15 points. DJ Horne chipped in 14 points. 

Michael O’Connell came off the bench to score six points and pass out five assists against zero turnovers. Ben Middlebrooks added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

In a battle of two of the nation’s best teams in taking care of the ball, the Pack won the turnover battle, only turning it over six times while forcing UVA into eight turnovers. The Cavaliers came into the game leading all NCAA DI teams in fewest turnovers per game.

The Pack is back in action Wednesday night when it hosts eighth-ranked North Carolina (11-3, 3-0). Tipoff at PNC Arena is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.