UNC sweeps ACC Basketball Player of the Week honors

Kevin Larkin

It was the fourth straight win over UNC (19-5, 9-2), and ended the Tar Heels' seven-game winning streak as Virginia's big three of Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome helped the Wahoos storm back.

Mike Tyson memorably said that everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth. "They responded. It wasn't ideal".

"We had a great run for eight to 10 minutes, or whatever it was, and things were going our way", UNC coach Roy Williams said.

The Cavs certainly looked like themselves: efficient on both ends of the floor.

UNC connected on only 35.4 percent of its shots from the floor for the game, and missed 10 of its last 11 attempts.

Hunter (7-10 FG, 3-3 3PT) and Guy (7-13, 5-9) each put up 20 points to lead all scorers. Kyle Guy's 3-point shot, that gave Virginia a 67-61 lead with 70 seconds to go, clinched a big-time win for the Cavaliers (21-2, 9-2 ACC).

"There's no excuses", said Jerome, who had 15 points and 11 assists. "I told the team before the game, 'I don't care if we played Duke on Saturday, I don't care if we're on the road (Monday)".

Three times in the first half the Tar Heels (19-5, 9-2 ACC) chipped away at nine-point UVA (21-1, 9-2 ACC) leads.

"At the start of the second half we got a lot of stops and we were able to run out a little bit", senior guard Kenny Williams said of the 17-3 run that staked UNC to a 49-43 lead with 12:05 to go.

The bigger significance of this game was that Virginia showed it could handle in-game adversity coming off the loss to Duke.

"You make a run, they make a run, you make a run, they make a run and what you try to do is just hold theirs off and cut it to a minimum", Williams said. Their offense was better than our defense. We'll update his status as more info comes in. "And you have to give them credit for making it a lot more hard".

Virginia: The Cavaliers' home loss to the Blue Devils on Saturday gave them more league losses than all of a year ago, when they went 20-1 against ACC teams to sweep the regular-season and tournament titles. And Virginia hadn't lost consecutive games since dropping four straight in February 2017. Yet as it always seems to do, Virginia stuck to its unhurried offensive pace and stubborn defense to hang around as UNC threatened to stretch the lead.

"They didn't do anything differently", UNC's Cameron Johnson said. But after managing to speed up Virginia in the second half to get out in transition, the Tar Heels sputtered down the stretch when they had a chance to seize control.

The Cavaliers got out to a fast start on the Tar Heels. First, he knocked one down from the right corner at the 1:55 mark for a 64-59 lead. Jerome assisted on both scores.

"I just keep shooting it, because when Ty and 'Dre and guys like that have confidence in me, it's hard not to keep shooting", says Guy. "That helps a lot".

UNC freshman wing Nassir Little went down with a right ankle injury in the first half.

Guy put the icing on the cake as he was fouled on another dagger 3 with 1:10 to play.

The Cavaliers return to action Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena at 2 p.m. against Notre Dame.

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