Cavs Fall to UNC, 76-56
Feb. 27, 1998
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – All signs pointed to another long game between No. 10North Carolina and No. 15 Virginia. Tracy Reid turned it into a short one.
The teams had played a combined five overtime periods in their tworegular-season meetings, but Reid had 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead the TarHeels to a 76-56 victory in Friday’s quarterfinals of the Atlantic CoastConference tournament.
“I just love playing Virginia,” said Reid, who had averaged 30.8 pointsand 12.8 rebounds against the Cavaliers over the past two seasons. “It’s justso competitive out there against them.”
That wasn’t the case this time as the Tar Heels (22-6) took control with a13-2 run that closed the first half. The surge, which included five points byReid and four by LaQuanda Barksdale, put North Carolina up by 13 at halftime,and Virginia (18-9) got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
“We just couldn’t sustain any momentum over any period of time. That wasour biggest problem,” said Virginia coach Debbie Ryan. “We couldn’t puttogether any runs.”
The Cavaliers committed 31 of the game’s 53 turnovers on the way to theirfourth loss in five games and their most lopsided defeat in the conferencetournament since 1989.
Virginia’s turnover total was its highest of the season, surpassing the 30the Cavaliers had against North Carolina in a double-overtime loss earlier thismonth.
“The key was the turnovers,” Ryan said. “It was a combination of baddecisions and their pressure.”
North Carolina, the defending conference tournament champion, came into thisyear’s event as the No. 4 seed after losing two of its final fourregular-season games.
“That may have made us better,” coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “I thinkwe’re probably playing the best now that we’ve played all year. As a team, wealways start playing better and more consistent toward the end of the season.”
Virginia had been holding opponents to an ACC-low 38-percent shooting, butthe Tar Heels made 49 percent, including a 12-of-18 performance by Reid.
Reid added five steals, four blocks and three assists as the Tar Heels movedcloser to a shot at their fourth conference title in five years. North Carolinaalso got 17 points from Chanel Wright.
DeMya Walker had 17 points for Virginia, which fell behind by as many as 22in the second half. The Cavaliers’ Mimi McKinney added 16 points and 13rebounds, and Lesley Brown had 11 points.