Feb. 18, 1998

UVa Drops Road Contest, 74-55

Game Box Score

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina State handed Virginia its eighth straight defeat, getting offense down the stretch from Ron Kelley and a great defensive effort from Ishua Benjamin in a 74-55 win Wednesday night.

The Wolfpack (14-11, 4-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) broke a seven-game skid against the Cavaliers (10-16, 2-11), placing Virginia two games into the ACC cellar with three league games left.

The loss by the Cavaliers also matched its longest skid since 1974 - all but sealing the No. 9 seed in the upcoming ACC tournament in Greensboro.

Kelley, in his third game back after suffering a foot injury on Jan. 13, scored 10 of his 15 points in a five-minute span after Virginia had closed to 44-42 with 11:23 remaining.

The freshman scored on a pair of three-point plays, a tip-in and another follow shot with one second left on the shot clock to give the Wolfpack a 60-49 lead with 3:31 left.

Meanwhile, Benjamin held Curtis Staples, 13 shy of the all-time Division I-A 3-point mark, to 1-for-7 from long range. The senior's only 3-pointer came with 48.1 seconds and the Wolfpack leading by 18.

Kenny Inge led the Wolfpack with 17 points, helping seal it from the foul line as N.C. State made 12 straight free throws over the final 1:38.

Norman Nolan had 26 for the Cavaliers.

The Wolfpack used a pair of first-half runs to grab a 33-26 halftime lead,

N.C. State fell behind 10-2 early before going on a 12-0 run behind five points from C.C. Harrison, then went on a 12-2 spurt with Nolan on the bench in foul trouble to go up 29-22.

Nolan, who scored 35 points against the Wolfpack in the first meeting, sat out about nine minutes after picking up his second foul while fighting for position with Kelley 12:08 before the break.

Staples, with 397 3-pointers in his four years at Virginia, was 0-for-2 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes as the Cavaliers committed 13 first-half turnovers while the Wolfpack shot 56 percent.