Cavaliers Edged by No. 7 North Carolina 54-51
CHARLOTTESVILLE-Senior forward Tyler Zeller scored a game-high 20 points and had six rebounds, and junior forward John Henson had a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead North Carolina to a 54-51 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Virginia Saturday (Feb. 25) at John Paul Jones Arena.
Junior guard Jontel Evans led Virginia with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard Joe Harris scored 12 points, had five rebounds, blocked a career-high three shots and had three assists for the Cavaliers, and senior guard Sammy Zeglinski added 11 points.
North Carolina’s overall record improved to 25-4 with the victory and the Tar Heels are now 12-2 in the ACC. The victory was the fifth in a row for UNC. North Carolina is ranked seventh in both The Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll this week. The Tar Heels remain undefeated at JPJA with a 4-0 record.
Virginia’s overall record dropped to 21-7 with the loss and the Cavaliers are now 8-6 in the ACC. UVa is ranked 25th in The Associated Press poll this week.
The loss was just the second of the season at home for Virginia. The Cavaliers are now 13-2 at JPJA this season.
Virginia senior forward Mike Scott, the Cavaliers’ leading scorer this season, was hampered by foul trouble and scored six points with a team-high seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
Zeglinski scored all 11 of his points in the first half to help the Cavaliers to a 30-26 lead at the break. Zeller scored 14 points for the Tar Heels.
UVa led by as many as six points in the second half at 37-31 with 17:01 to play and still led by four at 41-37 with 12:15 left in the game. North Carolina then went on a 7-0 run to take a 44-41 lead with 9:21 remaining. Freshman guard P.J. Hairston scored five of the points for UNC in that stretch.
The Tar Heels held the lead until Virginia took its final lead of the game at 49-48 on a basket by Harris with 5:57 to play. North Carolina game right back to regain the lead on baskets by Henson and Zeller and the Tar Heels held on for the victory.
UNC led by the final score of 54-51 after a basket by Zeller with 13 seconds remaining in the game and Zeglinski missed a three-pointer for Virginia with six seconds left. After sophomore forward Harrison Barnes missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity for North Carolina with three seconds to play, Evans missed a desperation three-point attempt for UVa as the game ended.
North Carolina shot 33.3 percent (17-51) from the field, including 14.3 percent (2-14) from three-point range, and 78.3 percent (18-23) from the free-throw line. The Tar Heels out-rebounded Virginia 48-29 and UNC’s 54 points were a season low.
UVa shot 35.0 percent (21-60) from the field, including 26.1′ percent (6-23) from three-point range, and 50.0 percent (3-6) from the free-throw line. The Cavaliers only turned the ball over four times in the game.
Virginia plays its final regular-season home game on Thursday (March 1) when the Cavaliers host Florida State at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.