CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (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 fought,” Bennett said.” I think we got back to the mentality that we needed to. … Our way, it’s a blue-collar way, it’s a fighting way, and I think our guys responded well and really rallied.”
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
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