CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Joe Harris scored 22 points, and Virginia beat No. 19 North Carolina State 58-55 Tuesday night at the John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) improved to 12-1 at home and moved into second place in the league standings. Akil Mitchell hit a jumper from the left elbow to put Virginia ahead 56-54 with 3:54 left, a lead the Cavaliers would not relinquish. After N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie made one free throw to cut the lead to one with 3:20 left, neither team scored until Virginia point guard Jontel Evans hit two foul shots with 26.1 seconds left to push the lead to 58-55. Wolfpack guard Scott Wood's 3-point attempt in the last five seconds came up short, and Virginia escaped with the win. Harris' 22 points tied a season high. He was 7-for-15 from the field and 3-for-8 from 3-point range. Mitchell added 14 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. Leslie was not at full strength for N.C. State, as he played with an illness. He did not start the game, but he finished with a team-high 20 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes. Richard Howell had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolfpack (16-5, 5-3 ACC). The Cavaliers took a 52-49 lead with 5:08 to play when Harris hit three free throws after being fouled by T.J. Warren on a 3-point attempt. It was just the second time Virginia led in the game to that point. Leslie answered at the other end with two free throws to cut the lead to 52-51 with 4:52 to go before Harris made a driving layup on Virginia's next possession to push the advantage 54-51. Wood drilled a deep 3-pointer from the left wing on N.C. State's next possession to tie the game at 54 with 4:20 to play, but it was the last field goal the Wolfpack would make. Virginia took its first lead of the game when Mike Tobey hit a jumper with 12:26 to go to make the score 38-37. That capped a 14-6 run to start the second half for the Cavaliers. For the game, Virginia shot 40.7 percent (22-for-54) compared to 37.7 percent for N.C. State (20-for-53). The Wolfpack turned the ball over 14 times, seven of the giveaways by Leslie. The Wolfpack played the final three quarters of the game without starting point guard Lorenzo Brown, who left the game in the first half after injuring his left ankle with 10:29 to play. N.C. State led 31-24 at halftime and never trailed in the opening period. The Wolfpack went on a 12-2 run late in the first half to take a 29-18 lead with 1:42 to play, their largest lead of the half. Leslie led the way for N.C. State with eight first-half points. He checked into the game with 13:46 left in the first half. N.C. State jumped out to a 17-7 lead with 9:03 left in the first half, going 7-for-15 from the field with each of the seven players who played to that point contributing a basket. Virginia used a 9-0 run over the next 3:12 to get back in the game. Harris had seven points in the spurt and ended the half with 12 points. NOTES: This was the 140th meeting between the schools dating back to the 1912-13 season. N.C. State leads the all-time series 81-59. ... The Wolfpack are the only ACC team that has never won in the John Paul Jones Arena, losing all five games in the building.
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