Virginia bounces back with win at North Carolina

Virginia bounces back with win at North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WWBT/AP) - Virginia responded to its first loss by sharpening its focus back on what had carried the third-ranked Cavaliers to their best start in three decades.

The result was an impressive road win against a highly ranked league opponent, the kind that proves, if there was any question, that Tony Bennett's veteran-led team isn't easily shaken.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 17 points and Virginia's defense locked up No. 12 North Carolina in the second half to win 75-64 on Monday night.

Justin Anderson added 16 for the Cavaliers (20-1, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who regrouped after blowing an 11-point second-half lead in a 69-63 home loss to Duke over the weekend.

They forced tough shots against the Tar Heels (17-6, 7-3). They refused to cede transition chances. They closed out on the 3-point shots that Duke used Saturday in a late barrage that ended their unbeaten start.

By late in this one, Virginia had turned a 33-32 halftime deficit into an 18-point lead and driven many of the home fans to the exits with 3 1/2 minutes left.

Bennett said he put the team through a tough practice Sunday with the goal of getting back to ''some good, old-fashioned, blue-collar basketball.''

Virginia shot 52 percent, with Brogdon leading a balanced offense and the defensive effort on preseason all-American Marcus Paige.

After shooting 52 percent in the first half, UNC went just 11-for-29 (38 percent) after halftime.

Paige finished with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting, though he went scoreless for nearly 33 minutes until scoring 10 in the final 2 1/2 minutes long after Virginia had taken control.

Anthony Gill had 13 points at seven rebounds for Virginia. Justin Anderson scored 16 points and dished out seven assists, while London Perrantes chipped in 15 points and six assists.

The win is just the fourth victory for the Cavaliers at the Dean Smith Center and seventh all-time in Chapel Hill. It's the first time that Virginia has beaten a ranked Tar Heels team at North Carolina since 1981, and its first win at the Dean Dome since 2010.

The contest was the second of a three game stretch of top 15 opponents for the Cavaliers. They'll host No. 9 Louisville on Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena. Tip off is set for 7:00.

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