Feb. 1, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Cameron Bennerman followed up his own miss for the go-ahead basket with 74 seconds remaining, Tony Bethel led the scoring with 16 points and No. 18 North Carolina State rallied to beat Virginia 66-64 Wednesday night.
Sean Singletary missed a 35-footer just before the buzzer that would have won it for the Cavaliers.
Cedric Simmons had 15 points and three blocks for the Wolfpack (17-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who lost their previous home game to fall to 11-1 at the RBC Center. They trailed by four with 3 1/2 minutes remaining and appeared headed toward another loss before a furious comeback.
The margin still was three when J.R. Reynolds converted 1-of-2 at the line for Virginia (10-8, 4-4), then Ilian Evtimov swished a 3 after a nice pass from Engin Atsur to tie it at 62 with 2:07 on the clock.
On the other end, Atsur knocked the ball away from Reynolds, then dove to the floor to grab it. Just as he corralled it, Evtimov alertly called timeout to keep possession.
N.C. State patiently worked the clock until the 6-foot-4 Bennerman posted up the 6-foot Singletary in the paint. His first attempted bounced off the rim, but Bennerman quickly jumped up for the putback to give the Wolfpack a 64-62 lead.
Reynolds then missed a 3-pointer for the Cavaliers and Atsur worked inside for a layup to increase the margin to four. With 3.6 seconds left, Singletary somehow leaped high for a tip-in to make it 66-64, and when Atsur missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Virginia had another chance.
But Singletary's desperation attempt bounced off the backboard, allowing the Wolfpack to survive.
Evtimov and Bennerman each had 12 points for N.C. State, and Reynolds led the Cavaliers with 16.
The Cavaliers missed their first nine shots before patiently cutting into the margin, and it was down to three at halftime. The first tie came at 32 early in the second half, but the Cavaliers needed another 10 1/2 minutes to move in front for the first time on a layup from Singletary.
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