Cavaliers Fall to No. 5 North Carolina 83-61
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) –North Carolina’s struggles appear to be over.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 28 points, Ty Lawson had 19 and the No. 5 Tar Heels beat Virginia 83-61 Thursday night to snap a surprising two-game losing streak in the ACC.
North Carolina (15-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost at home to Boston College and on the road at No. 2 Wake Forest, but avoided its first 0-3 start in conference play since the 1996-97 season with big efforts from its biggest stars.
Hansbrough drew double coverage all game and made just six field goals, but he went to the line 17 times and made 15. He also had 12 rebounds, while Lawson added nine assists.
Virginia (7-7, 1-2) was led by Jamil Tucker with 12 points and Calvin Baker and Mike Scott with 11, but got a subpar effort from scoring leader Sylven Landesberg. He scored Virginia’s first basket, missed eight of his nine shots and had 2 points, 16.5 below his average.
Leading 50-36 at halftime, the Tar Heels wasted no time taking command in the second half.
Lawson had seven points and Hansbrough had five in a 19-7 burst to open the half, giving North Carolina its biggest lead at 69-43. Green finished the run with a thunderous dunk.
From then on, the fans at John Paul Jones Arena focused mostly on jeering Hansbrough when he got the ball, or got a call from the officials, and letting Tar Heels freshman Ed Davis know that they haven’t forgotten his snub. Davis, the son of former NBA player Terry Davis, was a prep star in Richmond and had Virginia in his final two schools before picking Carolina.
Davis finished with six points and seven rebounds.
Virginia started pregame introductions by playing a recorded video message from popular former player Sean Singletary, who then drew roars when he came down to the floor through the student section, high-fiving all the way, but the excitement was short-lived. The Tar Heels opened with a 14-2 run and had an 11-2 burst after the Cavaliers closed to 15-14.