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Armando Bacot powers North Carolina past Virginia

Sportsnaut
Jan 8, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) passes the ball as Virginia Cavaliers center Francisco Caffaro (22) defends in the first half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) passes the ball as Virginia Cavaliers center Francisco Caffaro (22) defends in the first half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Armando Bacot collected 29 points and a career-high 21 rebounds as North Carolina snapped a seven-game losing streak against Virginia, courtesy of a 74-58 victory on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Brady Manek contributed 19 points and five assists while Caleb Love added 16 and five, respectively, as North Carolina (11-4, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away in the second half.

The Tar Heels enjoyed a 14-4 edge on second-chance points, most of them as Bacot scored on five putbacks. After a loss at Notre Dame on Wednesday, Bacot called North Carolina’s effort “embarrassing” and “unacceptable.”

The Tar Heels’ dominance of the offensive glass came despite the absence of 6-foot-11 starter Dawson Garcia (concussion). Manek, who started in his place, hit 5 of 9 shots from 3-point range.

Virginia (9-6, 3-2) was paced by Reece Beekman’s 13 points, four assists and three steals. Armaan Franklin scored 12 points while Jayden Gardner added 10 points and seven rebounds.

North Carolina seized control midway through the second half with a 10-point run. Bacot had two baskets before Love and Manek each made a 3-pointer to stake the Tar Heels to a 57-38 lead.

Justin McKoy, who played two seasons at Virginia and returned on Saturday from COVID protocol, helped keep North Carolina in charge with a 3-pointer.

North Carolina led most of the first half but Virginia stayed close until the final five minutes. Love sparked the Tar Heels with two jumpers from well beyond the 3-point arc. He also had a steal and a pull-up shot in transition during the spree to help North Carolina to its biggest lead of the half, 31-24.

Shortly after intermission, Manek drained a corner 3 and Bacot threw down a slam dunk to push the Tar Heels’ advantage into double digits.

-Field Level Media