CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Justin Jackson scored 20 points to help No. 10 North Carolina beat No. 14 Virginia 65-41 on Saturday night, keeping the Tar Heels alone in first in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Kennedy Meeks had all of his 13 points and seven rebounds after halftime for the Tar Heels (23-5, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 47 percent and led by double figures nearly all night against the ice-cold Cavaliers.
UNC led 34-22 at halftime, never let Virginia closer than nine then ran off 10 straight points to take a 25-point lead and send the Cavaliers to their first three-game skid in a single season in six years.
Marial Shayok scored 13 points to lead Virginia (18-8, 8-6), who went 10 minutes without a basket at one point during the second half and missed its first 17 3-pointers for the game as the Tar Heels turned it into a rout.
Virginia shot 28 percent for the game and finished at 2 for 20 from 3-point range to go with a season-low point output, with every missed shot becoming magnified as the Tar Heels stayed in attack mode.
It was also was the second-lowest point total by an opponent in UNC’s Smith Center, just a basket better than Clemson’s 39 points here in 1995.
UNC finished with a 44-26 rebounding advantage, with much of that edge coming after halftime behind Meeks.
Virginia: The Cavaliers offered up a worst-case scenario Saturday night. If Virginia’s defense can’t rattle an opponent, the Cavaliers’ limited offensive punch gives them little margin for error.
UNC: This was one of several tough games for UNC coming down the regular-season stretch. Winning this rematch of last year’s ACC Tournament championship game by a lopsided margin has to be a boost to an already confident team.
Virginia: The Cavaliers return home Monday night to host Miami.
UNC: The Tar Heels have another big home game, hosting No. 8 Louisville on Wednesday night.
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