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North Carolina rallies past Virginia

Feb 26, 2012 - 12:42 AM Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - Tyler Zeller scored 20 points, including a monster dunk with 13.3 seconds remaining, and No. 7 North Carolina held off a resilient No. 25 Virginia team, 54-51, on Saturday.

John Henson contributed a double-double with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (25-4, 12-2 ACC), who have won five straight and 10 of 11. Harrison Barnes added seven points and 10 boards.

Jontel Evans paced Virginia with 13 points. Joe Harris had 12 and Sammy Zeglinski netted 11 for the Cavaliers (21-7, 8-6), who had won their previous two.

Up 52-51, Reggie Bullock pulled down a defensive rebound for UNC with 48 seconds to play. The Tar Heels ran the shot clock into single digits before Zeller found himself with the ball just to the side of the free-throw line.

He took a long stride, soared into the air from just inside the paint, and slammed it home for a three-point North Carolina advantage.

Zeglinski had an open look at a three-pointer to tie the game with just over six seconds remaining, but his try bounced off the front of the rim and Barnes pulled down the rebound.

"I got a good look. It just didn't go down for me," said Zeglinski.

Barnes missed the front end of a one-and-one, though, and UVA's Joe Harris got the board, giving the Cavaliers life once more, but Evans' potential game- tying try at the buzzer harmlessly hit the top of the backboard.

Virginia utilized strong three-pointer shooting as it led from the 4:42 mark of the first half until 11:14 to play in the second, but went cold from beyond the arc down the stretch, missing its final 11 attempts.

"The first half was full of bad shots," said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. "Harrison [Barnes] took some bad shots, when [Tyler Zeller] picked up the second foul inside the four-minute time out, we took him out. We weren't getting very good position inside, but we wanted to go inside because we have a size advantage in there. They did a great job of forcing us off the blocks. They did a great job of swarming."

The Tar Heels took their first lead of the second half on a trey by P.J. Hairston, part of a 9-2 spurt, for a 42-41 advantage.

Harris' tip-in put UVA back in front 49-48 with 5:57 to play, but Henson responded with a dunk 15 seconds later for the game's final lead change.

Zeller scored the first 10 points for UNC and the Tar Heels raced out to a 17-8 lead early in the first, but Virginia scored 20 of the half's final 28 points to lead 30-26 at intermission.

Game Notes

North Carolina outrebounded Virginia 48-29...Virginia had only six free-throw attempts...The Tar Heels shot 33.3 percent (17-of-51) from the floor. The Cavaliers shot 34.4 percent (21-of-60).