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Cavs Fall to UNC, 76-56

Feb. 27, 1998

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - All signs pointed to another long game between No. 10 North Carolina and No. 15 Virginia. Tracy Reid turned it into a short one.

The teams had played a combined five overtime periods in their two regular-season meetings, but Reid had 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels to a 76-56 victory in Friday's quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

"I just love playing Virginia," said Reid, who had averaged 30.8 points and 12.8 rebounds against the Cavaliers over the past two seasons. "It's just so competitive out there against them."

That wasn't the case this time as the Tar Heels (22-6) took control with a 13-2 run that closed the first half. The surge, which included five points by Reid and four by LaQuanda Barksdale, put North Carolina up by 13 at halftime, and Virginia (18-9) got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

"We just couldn't sustain any momentum over any period of time. That was our biggest problem," said Virginia coach Debbie Ryan. "We couldn't put together any runs."

The Cavaliers committed 31 of the game's 53 turnovers on the way to their fourth loss in five games and their most lopsided defeat in the conference tournament since 1989.

Virginia's turnover total was its highest of the season, surpassing the 30 the Cavaliers had against North Carolina in a double-overtime loss earlier this month.

"The key was the turnovers," Ryan said. "It was a combination of bad decisions and their pressure."

North Carolina, the defending conference tournament champion, came into this year's event as the No. 4 seed after losing two of its final four regular-season games.

"That may have made us better," coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "I think we're probably playing the best now that we've played all year. As a team, we always start playing better and more consistent toward the end of the season."

Virginia had been holding opponents to an ACC-low 38-percent shooting, but the Tar Heels made 49 percent, including a 12-of-18 performance by Reid.

Reid added five steals, four blocks and three assists as the Tar Heels moved closer to a shot at their fourth conference title in five years. North Carolina also got 17 points from Chanel Wright.

DeMya Walker had 17 points for Virginia, which fell behind by as many as 22 in the second half. The Cavaliers' Mimi McKinney added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Lesley Brown had 11 points.

 

 

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Jeff White

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jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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