COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 08 North Carolina at Virginia

North Carolina forward Armando Bacot (left) defends Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite during Sunday’s game.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Fifth-ranked Virginia went deep into its roster Sunday and may have found something.

Coming off a 29-point loss Wednesday at Purdue, the Cavaliers got 25 points from their bench and basically coasted to a 56-47 ACC men’s basketball victory over seventh-ranked North Carolina.

Tomas Woldentensae, averaging 2.7 points through seven games, finished with 12 points in 29 minutes. Francisco Caffaro, who had attempted only one shot before Sunday, had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

Caffaro, a redshirt freshman from Argentina who is called “Papi” by his teammates, is listed at 7 feet and 244 pounds.

“He loves physicality,” UVa coach Tony Bennett. “He’s new to the game and he’s unorthodox the way he moves, but that was really important.”

Woldetensae and Caffaro scored in double figures off the bench for UVa, which shot 32.7% from the field, compared to North Carolina’s 37% accuracy.

The Tar Heels were 1-for-14 from beyond the 3-point line. Virginia (8-1, 2-0) was 6-of-17, with Woldetensae going 3-for-4.

“At the end of the day, what got me here was the ability to shoot the ball,” said Woldetensae, a native Italian who made 103 3-pointers last year at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. “I was really frustrated with myself for not being able to help the team that way.

“Having the team actually see my ability was important. I wanted [teammates] to trust me not only by my past, but showing them that I’m actually somebody they could rely on.”

Fifth-year post player Mamadi Diakite had a team-high 12 points but was limited to 28 minutes due to foul trouble that eventually disqualified him. He also had a game-high six turnovers.

The leading scorer for North Carolina (6-3, 1-1) was prize freshman Cole Anthony, considered the top prospect in the country last year when he was at Oak Hill Academy. He finished with a team-high 12 points but was 4-of-15 from the field.

He had a 6-inch advantage on his defender, 5-9 Virginia sophomore Kihei Clark.

“We are far from perfect,” said Bennett, whose team lost the top three scorers from last year’s NCAA championship team and has a fourth, Braxton Key, who is rehabbing from wrist surgery and was not in uniform Sunday.

“Carolina and us are both trying to find our way and I am just thankful [UVa’s] guys came to the party and responded from a thorough can of you-know-what at Purdue.”

North Carolina was coming off a 74-49 home loss Wednesday night against Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life, been very lucky, won a lot of games, had a lot of games where we didn’t play well,” said North Carolina coach Roy Williams, trailing off before he added. “ I guess that I haven’t had two games in a row where we scored less than 70, much less 50.”

Virginia is 6-1 in the last five meetings with the Tar Heels.

“I’m just beside myself,” Williams added. “Since last year, the last two years [and] the last three years, I’ve gotten to be the worst coach I can ever remember because we’ve been doing some of the most unbelievable things of any team I’ve ever had.”

The best thing that came out of the game for Virginia was the play of the Cavaliers’ bench. UVa’s starters were a combined 9-for-37 from the floor.

“I hope soon that we will get Braxton back but what this is doing, whether we are successful or not, is providing some depth that maybe we wouldn’t have found otherwise,” Bennett said. “So, that is the bright side of it.”

NORTH CAROLINA (6-3)

Bacot 5-8 1-6 11, Brooks 2-5 2-2 6, Anthony 4-15 3-6 12, Robinson 1-4 0-0 2, Black 2-4 2-2 6, Miller 0-0 0-0 0, McAdoo 0-0 1-2 1, Huffman 0-0 2-2 2, Ellis 0-1 0-0 0, Keeling 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Francis 0-0 1-2 1, Platek 1-3 0-0 2, Harris 2-2 0-0 4, Pierce 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-46 12-22 47.

VIRGINIA (8-1)

Diakite 3-7 5-5 12, Huff 0-4 0-0 0, Stattmann 3-9 0-0 7, Clark 1-8 5-7 7, Morsell 2-9 0-0 5, McKoy 0-0 4-6 4, Caffaro 4-5 2-5 10, Coleman 0-0 0-0 0, Woldetensae 3-7 2-2 11. Totals 16-49 18-25 56.

Halftime—Virginia 24-18. 3-Point Goals—North Carolina 1-14 (Anthony 1-6, Ellis 0-1, Black 0-1, Platek 0-1, Pierce 0-2, Robinson 0-3), Virginia 6-17 (Woldetensae 3-4, Diakite 1-1, Stattmann 1-4, Morsell 1-5, Huff 0-1, Clark 0-2). Fouled Out—Diakite. Rebounds—North Carolina 31 (Brooks 8), Virginia 30 (Caffaro 7). Assists—North Carolina 6 (Brooks, Black 2), Virginia 9 (Clark 6). Total Fouls—North Carolina 14, Virginia 18. A—14,629 (14,593).

Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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