Jeff Lebo scored 17 points -- all in the second half -- and Brad Daugherty had 16 to lead third-ranked North Carolina to an 85-79 Atlantic Coast Conference basketball victory over Virginia last night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak for the Tar Heels (26-3 overall, 10-3 in the ACC) and helped make up for a loss to the Cavaliers earlier this season when North Carolina was undefeated and top-ranked.
North Carolina, which trailed, 37-33, at halftime, came back to take a 51-50 lead with 12:22 left before Daugherty was fouled by Tom Sheehey in the lane. Sheehey and Joe Wolf got into a pushing contest after Sheehey bounced the ball off Wolf's head, and both benches cleared.
Daugherty hit one of two free throws on the Sheehey intentional foul, Kenny Smith sank one technical free throw and the Tar Heels scored on the next two possessions to take a 57-50 lead with 11:10 remaining.
North Carolina built its lead to as many as 11 on back-door passes to Lebo and 12-for-15 free-throw shooting down the stretch.
Center Olden Polynice, Virginia's main offensive force, was hampered by three fouls in the first half and played the final 12 minutes with four fouls. Polynice led the Cavaliers (18-8, 7-6) with 24 points. Mel Kennedy added 15 points for Virginia, Andrew Kennedy had 12 and Sheehey 11.
Wolf scored 16 points for the Tar Heels and Smith had 15. Wolf and Daugherty grabbed a game-high nine rebounds each. Duke 77, Clemson 69
Senior guard Johnny Dawkins scored 27 points to lead No. 1 Duke to the victory at Clemson.
Dawkins broke Danny Ainge's NCAA record for career games in double figures. Dawkins has scored 10 or more points in 119 of his 123 varsity games.
The Blue Devils (28-2) had substantial leads over Clemson three times in the game, but the Tigers battled back each time.
Clemson got to within 72-69 on a rebound basket by Glen McCants with 44 seconds to play. The Tigers had possession but Chris Michael turned the ball over and Dawkins scored a fast-break layup with 15 seconds left to put the game out of reach.
Duke has an 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference record with a final game against North Carolina Sunday. Miami 73, American 64
Eric Brown scored 18 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Hurricanes over the Eagles at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. Miami improved its record to 13-13 and American fell to 10-17.
The Hurricanes, down by 36-35 at halftime, started the second half by outscoring the Eagles, 10-4, to take a 45-38 lead with 15:39 remaining. American rallied to take a 48-47 lead with 13:03 left on a dunk by Chuck West, but Miami went on a 14-2 run over the next nine minutes to lead, 62-50.
Miami had five starters in double figures: Kevin Presto (16 points), Dennis Burns (12), Bryan Hughes (11) and Mark Richardson (10). The Eagles were led by Frank Ross with 23 points. Longmire Harrison added 13 points. George Mason 75, Radford 64
Freshman Kenny Sanders scored 24 points and senior Rob Rose had 22 as the Patriots won their fifth straight and eighth of their last nine in the game at Radford.
The Patriots ended the regular season with a 17-10 overall record and will be host to American in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament Saturday at 7:30. The Highlanders finished 11-16.
Sanders and senior Ricky Wilson combined for 16 of George Mason's first 18 points as the visitors built an 18-8 lead with 11:28 left in the half. The Patriots extended the margin to 37-24 at halftime. Johnson C. Smith 82, Bowie State 60
Vincent Brown scored 22 points to lead the winners in the first round of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament in Richmond. Bowie State finished 1-27.