Men's Basketball Falls At North Carolina, 81-67
Feb. 12, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Freshmen Rashad McCants and Raymond Felton scored21 points each to lead North Carolina to a 81-67 win over Virginia on Wednesdayat the Smith Center.
McCants, who had scored only a combined two points in the previous twogames, broke out of his February slump to give the Tar Heels (13-10, 4-6Atlantic Coast Conference) their second straight league win and first in fivegames against the Cavaliers (14-8, 5-5).
Virginia erased an 18-point first-half lead and twice tied the game in thesecond half. But each time, the Tar Heels’ duo had the answer.
McCants, who had been struggling with back pains and confidence problems,broke the game open after Virginia tied the score at 50 on Jermaine Harper’s3-pointer with 12:18 left. McCants accounted for nine of North Carolina’s next15 points.
His 3-pointer from the left corner gave the Tar Heels a 61-52 lead with 7:56to play. The Cavaliers, who had won three straight in the league, didn’t getany closer.
Todd Billet had 16 points to lead Virginia, which got off to a slow start.The Tar Heels jumped to a 10-0 lead, and the Cavaliers had more turnovers (six)than points (four) in the opening five minutes.
McCants had 12 points in the first half. His layup off a behind-the-backpass from Felton capped the opening spurt. The lead ballooned to 33-15 at the6:06 mark as the Tar Heels made seven of their first 11 3-pointers.
The Cavaliers rallied just before the break, going on an 8-0 run and holdingthe Tar Heels scoreless over the final 3:53 of the half.
Devin Smith hit a 3-pointer with at the 1:00 mark then blocked McCants’ shotat the other end. Billet followed with a 3 from the right wing and cut the TarHeels’ lead to 37-28 at the half.
The Cavaliers scored the first four points of the second half and first tiedthe game at 47 at 12:31 on Billet’s running jumper. Felton answered with one ofhis three 3-pointers.
After the Cavs came back to tie it at 50, McCants’ layup started the Heelson a 31-17 game-closing run.