Dec. 2, 1997

Virginia Gets Past Appalachian St.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Colin Ducharme had 14 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday night, including back-to-back baskets in the closing minutes, as Virginia held off upset-minded Appalachian State 62-54.

Norman Nolan led Virginia (4-1) with 17 points and added 10 rebounds, but it was Ducharme who converted a missed shot by a teammate with 2:39 left, and then again with 1:47 to play, to keep the Mountaineers (3-2) at bay.

Virginia won despite another night being sloppy with the ball. After turning it over 27 times against George Mason in their last home game, the Cavaliers had four before they attempted a shot and finished with 18 for the game.

Appalachian State (3-1), which beat No. 25 North Carolina-Charlotte 66-60 on Nov. 24 and then lost 69-49 at Tennessee four days later, tied the score at 48 on Marshall Phillips' layup with 5:50 to play.

But Nolan answered for the Cavaliers, Curtis Staples followed with a 3-pointer and Ducharme rebounded a missed free throw by Nolan and laid it back it in, making it 55-48.

After Tyson Patterson's driving layin with 2:13 left, Ducharme took a pass from Willie Dersch and scored again, restoring the margin to 57-50 and giving the Cavaliers their first comfortable breathing room of the night.

Phillips led the Mountaineers with 13 points and Patterson added 11, but the smaller Mountaineers struggled from the perimeter, making only 23 of 59 shots, or 39 percent. Virginia shot 24 of 52, or 46 percent.

Ducharme and Monte Marcaccini, both reserves, led Virginia with 7 points apiece in the first half, and backup point guard Donald Hand had 5. The Cavaliers bench contributed 19 of Virginia's 31 points in the first 20 minutes.

Appalachian State led 12-2 after six minutes and trailed only twice, at 28-27 and 31-30, before Patterson's jumper with 29.5 left made it 32-31.

Phillips banked in a 3-pointer with 14:24 left, extending to 204 the Mountaineers' string of games with at least one 3-pointer. But after going 1-for-15 from deep against Tennessee, the Mountaineers were just 3-for-17 against Virginia.