Grant leads Wolfpack to rare road winFeb 1, 2007 - 7:01 AM BLACKSBURG, Virginia (Ticker) -- Gavin Grant's big second half sparked North Carolina State to a rare road triumph.
Grant scored 16 points, all in the second half, and the Wolfpack won for just the second time on the road all season with a 70-59 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over No. 18 Virginia Tech.
Ben McCauley scored 20 points and Engin Atsur added 14 for North Carolina State (12-8, 2-5 ACC), which shot 53 percent (26-of-49) and had a 42-29 advantage on the boards.
"We played an unbelievable ballgame against a very good team," Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe said. "I thought our defense was excellent tonight and that may have been the biggest difference in the game."
The Hokies (16-6, 6-2) lost for just the second time in their last 10 games and fell from the top of the ACC standings with the loss. North Carolina (6-1) took over first place with a 105-64 win over Miami.
"We were out-coached, we were outplayed, we were out-competed, we were out-focused, and we were out-toughed," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. "I can't say one thing like, 'Well, we did a good job with that.' I apologize to our fans. I know we've gotten great support from the students and the community. I'm embarrassed about the manner in which we played and which we conducted our business. It's extremely disappointing."
Zabian Dowdell, a 6-3 senior guard who was named the ACC Player of the Week on Monday, scored 16 points and Deron Washington and Jamon Gordon each had 12 for the Hokies.
"This didn't come down to offense or defense tonight," Dowdell said. "We just didn't come out with any energy. They were the first ones to every loose ball and every rebound. They just played harder.
"I wish I had the answer why. It was just one of those things. You have to be consistent with your effort and we didn't come out and do the things we needed to do to win the game."
Virginia Tech took its only lead of the game, 36-35, on a short jumper by Deron Washington with 16:42 left. N.C. State immediately regained the lead and opened the bulge to eight with 7:22 remaining. Tech then put together a small 8-2 run and cut the lead to two, 55-53, on a layup by Jamon Gordon with 4:37 left.
Brandon Costner started a 7-0 run with a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4:19 remaining and Tech never recovered.
"We had talked about being able to be patient," Lowe said. "We knew they were going to make a run and we just had to stick to the game plan. The key was the fact that we remained calm, kept our composure and didn't get rattled by their run."
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