Cavaliers Post 75-60 Win at North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sylven Landesberg scored a season-high 29 points and Virginia ran off 18 unanswered points early in the second half to beat struggling North Carolina 75-60 on Sunday night. Landesberg also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He was 11 for 18 from the field and 7 for 8 from the free-throw line.
Sammy Zeglinski added a season-high 19 points for the Cavaliers (13-6, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who regrouped from consecutive losses to earn another impressive victory under first-year coach Tony Bennett. Virginia had lost 63 of 68 meetings in Chapel Hill, but blew the game open by holding the Tar Heels without a field goal for nearly 8 minutes in front of a stunned Smith Center crowd.
While Landesberg led the offense, Zeglinski knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the decisive run, which turned a 35-32 margin into a 21-point lead with 14:20 to play.
Virginia never let North Carolina (13-8, 2-4) back in it, maintaining a comfortable lead and shooting 51.9 percent for the game.
Zeglinski’s 19 points were a personal ACC career high. He also had four assists and four steals.
Mike Scott added 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Cavaliers. Jerome Meyinsse scored seven points, had five rebounds and blocked a career-high three shots.
UVa led 35-30 at halftime.
“We made them earn,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said about the Cavaliers extending their lead early in the second half. “I understand too they were cold and they didn’t play one of their best games. But we did take advantage of the opportunities we had. We didn’t stop cutting hard, moving hard, defending hard. That’s our goal, it doesn’t change. I thought there was more purpose coming out because sometimes you can tighten up a little bit. Calvin Baker gave us a good lift, Jerome defensively was terrific. The right plays happened at the right time. There wasn’t really a drop off because we have kind of played in spurts a lot of our games.”
Bennett also talked about the challenge of coming off a difficult loss to Virginia Tech.
“That was significant because that was a real hard loss to our in-state rival,” Bennett said. “We were up by ten with three minutes left and then lost it. That was a challenge to them. A lot of teams would probably hang their heads and go into a situation like this and not fight. I said, ‘I want you to be different’ and I thought they were. Sylven was terrific offensively. He was special. Sammy made some big shots. It helps when you’ve got some guys making plays. That was significant for us to bounce back. I think it revealed a lot. It took away the sting of that game. Our guys were ready to play and I was happy to see it.”
Larry Drew II and Will Graves each scored 15 points to lead North Carolina.
Virginia made 27 of 52 shots from the field, including shooting 41.2 percent (7-17) from three-point range, and shot 77.8 percent (14-18) from the free-throw line. UVa had 18 assists in the game.
The Cavaliers limited North Carolina to 35.7 percent (20-56) shooting from the field, including 40.9 percent (9-22) from three-point range, and the Tar Heels shot 50.0 percent (11-22) from the free-throw line. North Carolina out-rebounded Virginia 35-30.
“They’re a good basketball team,” North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said. “Whether you look at their three-point field goal percentage, or free throws or rebound margin, you go down the line and see that they do a really nice job of playing team basketball. Landesberg is their best player and we wanted to try to do a great job on some of his dribble penetration, then he gets four lay-ups in the first half. They share the ball; it looked like some of our teams from past years.”