Devastating Loss In Blacksburg

Missed conversions and free throws down the stretch came back to haunt NC State as they fell to Virginia Tech 72-71.

In a game of runs, the Hokies had the last great spurt as they ended the final seven minutes with a 16-4 run and them winning 72-71.

The Wolfpack led by five with just under four minutes to go but junior Ilian Evtimov missed two crucial free throws that proved costly. In the final four minutes freshman Gavin Grant missed three layup opportunities and Evtimov missed another two chances, and those failed conversions gave Virginia Tech the break they were looking for to get back in the contest.

The Hokies were spectacular from the free throw line, as senior Carlos Dixon finished 8-for-8 and sophomore Coleman Collins converted all ten of his free throw attempts. On the night Virginia Tech hit 19-of-24 free throws, while the Wolfpck converted just 15-of-26 attempts.

Coleman, who finished with 20 points, converted the biggest basket of the night for Virginia Tech with 12.9 seconds to play. Trailing the Wolfpack 71-70, Coleman knocked down a fade-away jumper over NC State center Jordan Collins, giving the Hokies a 72-71 lead.

NC State had one more opportunity, but senior guard Julius Hodge's jumper was blocked by Jamon Gordon with 3 seconds to play.

Hodge led the Wolfpack with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but he connected on just 8-of-19 field goal attempts. Freshmen Gavin Grant and Andrew Brackman added 14 and 13 points respectively. Brackman also chipped in 10 rebounds, collecting the second double-double of his career.

Collins and Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies with 20 points each. Collins also finished with nine rebounds while Dowdell added four rebounds and four assists.

NC State (11-6, 1-3) will face Maryland in College Park on Sunday while Virginia Tech (9-6, 2-2) plays Georgia Tech Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.


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