Jan. 10, 1998

Virginia Falls to Tar Heels

No. 1 UNC wins 15th straight ACC game.

Staples
Virginia (8-7, 1-2) fell to 3-55 in Chapel Hill and 0-13 in the Smith Center.
(File photo)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Antawn Jamison scored seven of his 26 points over a 1:05 span in the second half and No. 1 North Carolina made a season-high 35 free throws Saturday to defeat foul-plagued Virginia 81-73.

The Tar Heels (17-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the 33rd time in their last 34 games. North Carolina made 35 of 42 free throws - including its first 14 straight - to win its 15th straight ACC game.

The Cavaliers (8-7, 1-2) fell to 3-55 in Chapel Hill and 0-13 in the Smith Center, but remained in the game most of the way just days after an embarrassing loss to Liberty. Norman Nolan, coming off consecutive 30-point games, led Virginia with 29 points.

Virginia picked up eight team fouls in the opening 4:24 of the second half. Those included a third on Nolan while battling for a rebound and a fourth as a technical was called against the bruising forward for arguing.

He joined fellow big man Colin Ducharme in foul trouble along with shooting star Curtis Staples, who was whistled for his fourth with 12:59 left.

With Virginia's big men in foul trouble, Jamison went to work. Virginia was within nine points with 8:01 left before Jamison scored on a layup, a scoop shot in the lane and a three-point play to give the Tar Heels a 67-51 lead and control of the game until two late 3-pointers by Staples made it interesting.

Vince Carter added 18 points for the Tar Heels, while Staples had 20 for Virginia, which shot 54.5 percent in the second half.

North Carolina's offense struggled in the opening half after posting an impressive 96-75 win Thursday night against Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels did shoot 58 percent from the field and made all 11 of their first-half free throws to forge a 34-25 halftime lead, but turned the ball over nine times - many of the unforced variety.

The Tar Heels lost the ball on five of nine possessions midway through the half, but the Cavaliers couldn't capitalize because of cold shooting.

Virginia made only two baskets during a 6 1/2-minute stretch as North Carolina was fumbling the ball around. Jamison's alley-oop dunk 1:28 before halftime gave the Tar Heels a 30-19 lead - which matched their largest of the period.