Jayden Gardner scored 18 points and No. 8 Virginia rediscovered its suffocating defense in a 63-50 victory over No. 22 North Carolina State on Tuesday night in Charlottesville, Va.
Reece Beekman added 15 points as Virginia (18-4, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled into a tie for first place in the league with Clemson and Pitt.
Returning to the rotation after sitting out Virginia’s loss at Virginia Tech on Saturday, 6-foot-11 Kadin Shedrick had 10 points and six rebounds. He led a Cavaliers defense that bamboozled the highest-scoring team in the ACC.
NC State (19-6, 9-5) had won eight of nine games and had entered the Associated Press rankings this week for the first time since January 2019. However, the Wolfpack made just 33.3 percent of their shots against the Cavaliers and 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) from 3-point range.
It was the lowest-scoring output of the season for the Wolfpack. Their previous low came in a 68-60 loss to Pitt.
Terquavion Smith led NC State with 19 points and former Virginia player Casey Morsell added 18 points.
However, the Cavaliers shut down the rest of the Wolfpack, including Jarkel Joiner, the team’s second-leading scorer. Joiner missed his first nine shots and finished with five points, 11 below his average. Joiner did deliver six rebounds and six assists.
Virginia outscored NC State 32-12 in the paint and held the Wolfpack to two fast-break points. The Cavaliers also got 18 points from their bench to zero for the Wolfpack.
Virginia led from the opening minutes as Shedrick highlighted a seven-point run with a three-point play, helping the Cavaliers take a 15-7 lead.
Gardner scored the final six points of an eight-point spree that put Virginia in front 34-18 late in a nightmarish first half for NC State, which shot 25.8 percent and made just 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arc.
Virginia opened with the second half’s first six points, including four by Beekman, to double up NC State at 40-20.
After that, the Wolfpack got three 3-pointers from Morsell and two from Smith to pull within striking distance, but they never got the deficit lower than nine points.
–Field Level Media