WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Cavaliers Come Up Short Against No. 7 UNC

The Virginia men's basketball team couldn't quite avenge its worst loss of the season.

Sammy Zeglinski and Jontel Evans both missed potential game-tying three-pointers in the final seconds, allowing No. 7 North Carolina to escape John Paul Jones Arena with a 54-51 win over the 25th-ranked Cavaliers on Saturday.

"We had a chance. We had a chance," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said afterward. "We took care of the ball better. We were better on the glass."

The Tar Heels completed a regular season sweep of Virginia with the win. They beat the Cavaliers 70-52 in Chapel Hill two weeks ago.

Virginia drops to 21-7 (8-6 in the ACC) with the loss.

"It's really hard," said sophomore guard Joe Harris, who scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in his best game since breaking his hand at North Carolina two weeks ago. "We came in here, the crowd was rocking. The fans were just, they were great tonight. It was a great atmosphere. And then we just came up short."

"It stings," said Evans, who led the Cavaliers with 13 points. "We fought so hard. We were right there. Right there. But we just fell short. It stings, but we've just got to get over it, and get focused for Florida State on Thursday."

Seven-foot center Tyler Zeller finished with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead UNC. His dunk with 13 seconds remaining gave the Tar Heels their three-point margin of victory.

Senior Mike Scott struggled against the Tar Heels, scoring just six points (11 below his team-leading 17.3 ppg average) on 3-for-13 shooting. Scott only played 22 minutes because of foul trouble.

Sammy Zeglinski scored 11 points for Virginia -- including a three-point buzzer beater that sent the Cavaliers into the locker room with a four-point lead at halftime -- but was held scoreless in the second half.

Virginia also shot just 26 percent (6-for-23) from beyond the three-point line for the game, and 50 percent (3-for-6) from the free throw line. The Tar Heels made 18 of their 23 free throws.

"You've got to play 40 minutes to beat a team like that," said Bennett, "and we didn't quite do that."

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