Jan. 15, 1998

Virginia Outlasts North Carolina in Three Overtimes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Mimi McKinney told her Virginia teammates it was time to shine as they took the court Thursday night.

But after three overtimes and 55 total minutes of play, McKinney was the brightest, scoring a school-record 48 points as the 15th-ranked Cavaliers outlasted No. 7 North Carolina 105-100 in triple overtime.

McKinney, whose total is the second-highest in Atlantic Coast Conference history, broke her own previous career high of 23 points, scored earlier this month against Clemson.

She also tied a Virginia record by making seven 3-pointers.

"I can't say I've seen every game ever played by Virginia, but I know I've never seen anything like what she did before," said teammate DeMya Walker. "She told us before the game that no one could hold us down. She kept telling us that it was time for us to shine. She sure did."

McKinney gave Virginia a 100-96 lead on a running one-hander with 3:57 remaining in the third overtime. Walker put back a McKinney miss with 47.6 seconds left to put Virginia ahead 102-98.

Erin Stovall made three free throws in the final 9.5 seconds to secure the win and give the Tar Heels their first home loss after 23 straight victories.

"I told my teammates before the game that this win was something I really wanted," McKinney said. "I took the loss to North Carolina State (67-59 on Sunday) very personally. It was something I wanted us to put behind us."

North Carolina's Nikki Teasley couldn't save her team as she had done in the first two overtimes, when she hit shots at the buzzer to tie the score and send the game into another extra period. She also hit a free throw to tie the game at the end of regulation.

Walker finished with 16 points and Stovall added 15 for Virginia (12-3, 3-3 ACC).

All-American Tracy Reid led North Carolina (13-3, 4-2) with a school-record 42 points, plus 14 rebounds for the 40th double-double of her career. But Reid was held to four points in overtime play and none in the third extra period.

"We're disappointed," Reid said. "We take a lot of pride in not letting people beat us on our home court. Virginia just came in here and wanted it more than we did."

In the first overtime, Walker stole a North Carolina pass and scored on a layup for a 85-84 lead for the Cavaliers with 28 seconds left. McKinney added two free throws with 2.7 seconds to go. But Teasley got the inbounds pass and hit a 35-footer from the right wing to send the game into a second overtime at 87-87.

Teasley did it again at the end of the second overtime, hitting an eight-footer in the lane at the buzzer to tie it up at 96-96.

Teasley also tied the game with seven seconds left in regulation by making one of two free throws to even the score at 76-76. Teasley rebounded her own missed free throw, but Jessica Gaspar's 3-point try to win the game in regulation bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Teasley had 21 points and Juana Brown 11 added for North Carolina.

McKinney's single-game total is eclipsed in ACC history only by 50 points scored by Andrea Stinson of North Carolina State in 1989.

"That was just an incredible performance," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "For a `role player,' she certainly showed what she can do. ... `We always knew she could hit the 3-pointer. What she did tonight was take the next step in her game."

The Cavaliers' win thwarted North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell's chance at victory No. 500 for her 23-year coaching career. Hatchell will get another chance on Sunday when the Tar Heels play at Maryland.

"The silver lining to all this is that I know that we'll get better," Hatchell said. "I know our players will take having three losses very seriously."