Cavs Lose Heartbreaker to North Carolina
February 20, 1999
UVa vs. UNC Post Game Audio
UVa Coach Pete Gillen’s postgame comments.UNC Coach Bill Guthridge’s postgame comments.Ademola Okulaja says he is confident with his 3-point shot.Ed Cota breaks down the final play.Ronald Curry on his reception by Cavs’ fans.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Ademola Okulaja’s 3-pointer with 1.4 secondsremaining gave No. 14 North Carolina a 67-66 victory over Virginia on Saturday.
The Tar Heels (21-7, 9-5), who swapped leads with Virginia 10 times in thehalf, had fallen behind 65-64 on Adam Hall’s 3-pointer with 49 seconds left. Afree throw by Chezley Watson gave the Cavaliers a 2-point edge, but when hemissed the second with 14.3 seconds left, it left the door open.
Okulaja spotted up in the right corner, took a pass from Ed Cota and nailedthe shot to clinch third place in the ACC for the Tar Heels, their 35thstraight season in the league’s top three.
Virginia (14-14, 4-11) lost despite 18 points from Hall, and big secondhalves from Donald Hand and Chris Williams, who struggled in the first gameagainst the Tar Heels this season.
Williams, 5-for-20 from the field against North Carolina at the start of thehalf, was 5-for-7 in the second half and scored 10 of his 12 points. And Hand,3-for-19 to that point, was 4-for-11 in the half, scoring 8 points during a5-minute stretch when neither team led by more than 3 points.
Okulaja and Cota led the Tar Heels with 15 points each. Okulaja added 10rebounds, and Cota had nine assists, the last coming on the game-winner.
Hand finished with 15 points and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who wereoutrebounded 44-28, including 16-8 on the offensive end.
The Cavaliers missed their first 10 shots of the game and got their firstbasket on a goaltending call with 12:25 left in the half and trailed 15-2.
It was 26-12 when the Cavaliers caught fire, scoring 10 straight and 19 of23 to take a 31-30 lead on Watson’s reverse layup with 2:10 left. A 6-footer byCota with one second left gave the Tar Heels a 35-33 halftime lead.
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer