Virginia stays perfect in ACC by routing NC State 76-45
Joe Harris scored 16 points and Virginia routed North Carolina State 76-45 on Saturday night.
Mike Tobey also had 16 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 13 for the Cavaliers (12-4, 3-0 ACC).
They kept pace with No. 2 Syracuse and Pittsburgh as the only teams unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference play while also polishing off an epically bad day for the schools on Tobacco Road.
Virginia never trailed, opened the game with a 21-4 run and wasn't tested in cruising to its third straight win.
Desmond Lee and Ralston Turner each had 10 points for the Wolfpack (11-5, 1-2).
They didn't get closer than 22 in the second half and finished with a season-low-by-far point total. They became the fourth of the state's four ACC schools to lose Saturday — and each by double figures, no less.
According to STATS, they haven't lost on the same day since at least before the 1996-97 season — the oldest records available to the statistics company.
N.C. State joined Wake Forest and No. 16 Duke in an eight-way tie for next-to-last in the ACC at 1-2, ahead of only North Carolina (0-3).
T.J. Warren, the ACC's leading scorer who averages 23 points, finished with four on 1-of-9 shooting. His only field goal came nearly 15 minutes into the game — when N.C. State was already down by 20.
The Wolfpack's previous scoring low was 57 points two months ago at Cincinnati. They had a season-high-tying 16 turnovers and shot a season-worst 28.9 percent against one of the nation's best defenses.
Virginia entered ranked third nationally in scoring defense, giving up an average of 55.9 points, and ninth in Division I in field goal percentage defense (37.4 percent).
In each of the past two years, this wound up being a pivotal game for settling the seeds for the ACC tournament and sorting out the first-round byes.
N.C. State and Virginia tied for fourth in the final standings in both 2012 and '13, and the Cavaliers claimed the tiebreakers both times by winning the head-to-head matchup — although the Wolfpack did win both meetings in the tournament.
This one was all Virginia.
The Cavaliers dominated from the tip, opening with that huge run that included a burst of 15 straight points. They scored on 15 of their first 17 possessions and shot 60 percent in the half — their best half of the season.
Virginia went up by double figures to stay on Tobey's tip-in fewer than 5 minutes in, pushed its lead into the 20s on his free throw with 9:02 left and led 48-23 on Akil Mitchell's steal and dipsy-doo dunk in the open court with about 1:15 left before the break.