RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Despite a sluggish start, North Carolina State gave coach Herb Sendek a great 41st birthday present - a perfect home record.
The 18th-ranked Wolfpack held off Washington, 77-72, in a rare late-season non-conference matchup for their sixth win in seven games.
Marcus Melvin scored 16 points, but clutch 3-point shooting by Ilian Evtimov was the difference for North Carolina State (17-6), which improved to 14-0 at the RBC Center.
Scooter Sherrill added 13 points and leading scorer Julius Hodge had 11 for North Carolina State, which placed five players in double figures. Hodge battled foul trouble throughout, playing the final 11:34 with four fouls.
Evtimov gave the Wolfpack their first second-half lead, 61-60, on a 3-pointer with 7:07 remaining. The sophomore from Bulgaria connected twice more from beyond the arc down the stretch.
Evtimov's final 3-pointer gave NC State a 70-66 lead. The Wolfpack held on by making 7-of-10 free throws in the waning moments.
Evtimov finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers.
The Wolfpack trailed, 55-47, with just over 12 minutes left, then showed signs of life by reeling off 14 of the next 19 points.
Washington (13-10) had won eight of its previous nine games, but the loss dealt a severe blow to its already slim NCAA Tournament chances. The Huskies have lost 24 straight road games against ranked foes.
With Washington trailing, 73-72, Brandon Roy missed a jumper with 27 seconds left, enabling NC State to seal the win at the free-throw line.
Bobby Jones scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Huskies and Nate Robinson added 13.