Originally created 02/21/99

No. 14 North Carolina 67, Virginia 66



CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Ademola Okulaja's 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining gave No. 14 North Carolina a 67-66 victory over Virginia on Saturday.

The Tar Heels (21-7, 9-5), who swapped leads with Virginia 10 times in the half, had fallen behind 65-64 on Adam Hall's 3-pointer with 49 seconds left. A free throw by Chezley Watson gave the Cavaliers a 2-point edge, but when he missed the second with 14.3 seconds left, it left the door open.

Okulaja spotted up in the right corner, took a pass from Ed Cota and nailed the shot to clinch third place in the ACC for the Tar Heels, their 35th straight season in the league's top three.

Virginia (14-14, 4-11) lost despite 18 points from Hall, and big second halves from Donald Hand and Chris Williams, who struggled in the first game against the Tar Heels this season.

Williams, 5-for-20 from the field against North Carolina at the start of the half, was 5-for-7 in the second half and scored 10 of his 12 points. And Hand, 3-for-19 to that point, was 4-for-11 in the half, scoring 8 points during a 5-minute stretch when neither team led by more than 3 points.

Okulaja and Cota led the Tar Heels with 15 points each. Okulaja added 10 rebounds, and Cota had nine assists, the last coming on the game-winner.

Hand finished with 15 points and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who were outrebounded 44-28, including 16-8 on the offensive end.

The Cavaliers missed their first 10 shots of the game and got their first basket on a goaltending call with 12:25 left in the half and trailed 15-2.

It was 26-12 when the Cavaliers caught fire, scoring 10 straight and 19 of 23 to take a 31-30 lead on Watson's reverse layup with 2:10 left. A 6-footer by Cota with one second left gave the Tar Heels a 35-33 halftime lead.