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No. 13 Virginia gets past shorthanded North Carolina

Jan 10, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Jalen Washington (13) shoots the ball over Virginia Cavaliers center Francisco Caffaro (22) in the first half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Vander Plas scored 17 points off the bench and No. 13 Virginia defeated short-handed North Carolina 65-58 on Tuesday night in Atlantic Coast Conference action in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers (12-3, 4-2 ACC) extended their home winning streak against the Tar Heels (11-6, 3-3) to eight games. North Carolina’s last win at Virginia was on Feb. 25, 2012.

The Tar Heels played nearly the entire game without Armando Bacot, the ACC’s leading scorer and rebounder, after he rolled his left ankle with 18:41 left in the first half. Bacot came in averaging 18.8 points and 11.2 rebounds.

Virginia improved to 8-1 at home. Vander Plas added eight rebounds and three blocks. Armaan Franklin had 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks and Reece Beekman posted 13 points and five steals. Isaac McKneely had 11 points off the bench.

North Carolina shot 39.6 percent from the field and fell to 0-4 on the road. R.J. Davis scored 16 points and freshman Jalen Washington, who replaced Bacot, tallied 13 points. Caleb Love also had 13.

Virginia took its first lead since 13-12 when Vander Plas hit a 3-pointer to make it 42-40 with 12:52 left in the game.

Another Vander Plas 3-pointer capped a 17-2 run that put the Cavaliers up 52-42 with 9:25 remaining.

Three 3-pointers by Love down the stretch pulled North Carolina to within 61-58 with 1:08 to play.

Virginia answered with dunks by Beekman and Vander Plas to close out the scoring.

In a classic clash of styles, North Carolina entered the contest leading the ACC in scoring (81.4) and Virginia came in leading the league in scoring defense (59.6).

The Cavaliers established the early tempo. The Tar Heels missed eight of their first nine shots and fell behind 10-3, with a 3-pointer by Davis their only bucket in the first seven-plus minutes.

North Carolina woke up with a 16-3 run capped by D’Marco Dunn’s 3-pointer for a 19-13 lead. The Tar Heels extended the lead to 24-15 on Leaky Black’s 3-pointer.

UNC led 29-27 at halftime behind 12 points from Washington, who had scored a total of 13 points and played just 21 minutes in six games before Tuesday.

The Tar Heels also played without starting forward Pete Nance, who missed his second straight game with a strained back.

–Field Level Media