‘Hoos take control late, knock off UNC, 61-52

unc-uva2Virginia broke open a one-point game with a clinching 10-2 run to defeat North Carolina 61-52 Sunday night at the John Paul Jones Arena.

The Cavs (11-3, 1-0 ACC) had seemed to take control in the second half with a 21-6 run that pushed Virginia to a 49-42 lead on a Joe Harris layup and free throw with 7:12 to go. But UNC (10-4, 0-1 ACC) closed to within 51-50 with 3:07 left on a Reggie Bullock layup.

Joe Harris hit a jumper on UVa.’s next possession to extend the lead back to three with 2:53 left, then after a missed Dexter Strickland jumper, Paul Jesperson hit a twisting runner in the lane to push the margin to five at 55-50 with two minutes to go.

Virginia’s last six points came at the foul line as North Carolina went without a field goal in the final 3:07.

The ‘Hoos trailed by one at the half, 25-24. North Carolina opened the second half on an 11-4 run that gave the Heels their biggest lead of the game at 36-28 on a Marcus Paige jumper with 16:27 to go before a Harris three 12 seconds later ignited the long Virginia scoring run that turned the game around.

Harris scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field to lead Virginia, which was 8-for-14 from three-point range and won the rebounding battle by one, 30-29.

Bullock led all scorers with 22 for UNC, which shot 37.3 percent from the field after coming into the game fourth in Division I scoring 84 points per contest.

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