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State hoops roundup: Virginia knocks off Tar Heels

Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. —  Jay Huff had 18 points and 12 rebounds and No. 9 Virginia took control early and beat North Carolina for the seventh consecutive time, 60-48, on Saturday night.

Sam Hauser added 17 points for Virginia (15-3, 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and Trey Murphy III had 12 as the ACC-leading Cavaliers won their fourth in a row.

The Cavaliers led 21-4 midway through the first half as the Tar Heels missed 13 of their first 15 shots. North Carolina (12-7, 7-5) closed to within 27-18 by halftime, but never threatened. The Tar Heels finished just 2 for 16 from 3-point territory.

Virginia, meanwhile, was 10 for 22, with Hauser shooting 4 of 6 and Huff 3 of 5.

“Sam is always a lights-out shooter. I feel like I’ve been shooting it well recently and it’s hard to guard,” Huff said.

Walker Kessler led UNC with nine points. The last time no Tar Heel scored in double figures was March 4, 1966, a 21-20 loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina. John Yokley led UNC with six points in that game.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said he’s at a loss to determine why the Tar Heels have struggled so much against the Cavaliers.

“I can’t speak to all our teams in the past. Last year, we have a lead and they make one with eight-tenths of a second to go,” he said. “The year before, we played them in the Smith Center and they had to go to the video to decide that (Coby White’s) 3-pointer was not good and then they laid it up and had to go to another video to see if it was good for them and both calls went their way.”

Huff, who also blocked four shots, hit three of the Cavaliers’ 12 3-pointers.

“It’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Williams said. “We don’t have a four and five man on the blue team that can go out there and make all those shots like they did.”

North Carolina: The Tar Heels remain offensively inconsistent. They came in averaging 74.1 points, but scored just 50 two games ago in a 63-50 loss at Clemson, then had 91 in a four-point victory against Duke in their last outing. Before the loss to the Tigers, they had scored at least 75 points in five consecutive games.

North Carolina is home against No. 18 Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.

Virginia: Reece Beekman, who shares point guard duties with Kihei Clark, had big numbers in columns that would not normally be associated with a 6-foot-3 freshman guard. He finished with just one point, but had eight rebounds and seven assists.

“I know I’m getting the assists, but they’re making the shots,” Beekman said.

Virginia heads on the road to play at No. 17 Florida State on Monday night.

Furman 88, Western Carolina 70

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Jalen Slawson and Noah Gurley scored 16 points apiece to lift Furman to victory over Western Carolina.  Clay Mounce added 14 points and Jonny Lawrence and 11 for Furman (13-7, 7-4 Southern Conference).

Mike Bothwell, who led the Paladins in scoring heading into the matchup with 16 points per game, scored just five.

Xavier Cork had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Catamounts (9-12, 2-10). Kameron Gibson added 13 points. Cory Hightower, Matt Halvorsen and Mason Faulkner scored 11 points apiece.

UNC Greensboro 77, Mercer 74

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Angelo Allegri had 16 points and seven rebounds as UNC Greensboro edged Mercer.

Mercer trailed by 18 with 7:29 to go and got within two twice in the last 20 seconds but couldn’t get a final 3-pointer to fall at the buzzer.

Isaiah Miller had 15 points and seven rebounds for UNC Greensboro (15-6, 10-3 Southern Conference). Kaleb Hunter added 11 points. Hayden Koval had four assists.

UNC Greensboro totaled 45 first-half points, a season high for the team.

Leon Ayers III had 17 points for the Bears (12-8, 5-7),  including 3-straight 3-pointers in a 50-second span. Ross Cummings added 15 points. Jeff Gary had 14 points.

Old Dominion 64, Charlotte 45

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Kalu Ezikpe had 13 points as Old Dominion beat the 49ers.  A.J. Oliver II added 11 points for the Monarchs (11-5, 7-3 Conference USA), who held Charlotte to 28.6 percent shooting, the lowest mark of the season for an Old Dominion opponent.

Jaylin Hunter had 11 points for Old Dominion. Xavier Green added eight rebounds.

Jhery Matos had 11 points for the 49ers (9-11, 5-7), whose losing streak stretched to four games. Jahmir Young added 10 points. Marvin Cannon had six rebounds.

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