GAME NOTES: Coming off key Atlantic Coast Conference wins, the Virginia Cavaliers and NC State Wolfpack clash in a battle at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Saturday.
Virginia has won two games in a row - both in ACC play - and has won four of its last five contests. The streaking Cavaliers dominated Wake Forest Wednesday night, winning 74-51.
After tallying a seven-game win streak earlier in the season, NC State has a 2-2 record in its last four games, but is coming off a 77-70 win over Notre Dame to even its league slate at 1-1.
The Wolfpack have the hefty advantage in the long-standing series between the ACC programs, 82-59. NC State has more than doubled up the Cavaliers in Raleigh, 41-20.
Virginia jumped out to an early 22-6 lead against Wake Forest and never let up the onslaught, defeating the Demon Deacons, 74-51. The Deacons proved no match for the Cavaliers as Virginia picked up its second conference win in as many games. Malcolm Brogdon led four Virginia players in double-digit scoring with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Brogdon added six rebounds and two steals to his stat total. Joe Harris and Justin Anderson contributed 11 points each, while Anthony Gill netted 10 and pulled down four rebounds in 17 minutes of action. The Cavaliers shot a healthy 50 percent from the floor in the contest.
Harris leads the Virginia team in scoring as the only player to average double point figures this season for the Cavs, netting 10.3 ppg. Brogdon is second on the team at 9.9 ppg, and is first in total steals with 19. Gill, who averages 8.5 ppg, is shooting 66.2 percent from the floor this year, while his team as a whole hits on 44.1 percent of its shots.
NC State held on to win a close battle against new ACC member Notre Dame Tuesday night, 77-70, behind the heroics of T.J. Warren and Anthony Barber. Barber sunk two critical free-throws to keep a decent lead, and Warren did the same with under a minute to play. Warren led all Wolfpack scorers in the contest with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting. He added seven rebounds and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. NC State shot just 30.8 percent from 3-point range in the game, but held a critical 16-10 edge in points off turnovers.
Warren is one of the leading scorers in the conference and in the nation, averaging 23.4 ppg and a hearty 7.4 rpg. In over 34 minutes of play per game, Warren is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor this season. Barber is second on the team in scoring at 12.3 ppg, while Desmond Lee is third with 10.5 ppg. Barber averages 4.5 assists per game for the Wolfpack.
NC State has one of the best homecourt advantages in the nation. In an ACC bout on their home floor, the Wolfpack should have the upper hand, especially if Warren and Barber are on point.
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