Charlottesville, Va. — Malcolm Brogdon said he wasn’t trying to assert himself any more than usual. It just worked out that way.
Brogdon scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and No. 3 Virginia used a 16-5 second-half run to break open a tie game and held off No. 7 North Carolina 79-74 on Saturday night, the Cavaliers’ 19th consecutive home victory.
“I just had opportunities,” Brogdon said of the first half, when he made 6 of 8 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help the Cavaliers to a 38-35 lead at the break. “I try to come out aggressive every game. I try to take what the defense gives me but at the same time, I try to sense when my team is struggling on offense or doing well on offense and I try to adjust my game to that.”
Anthony Gill added 15 points and London Perrantes 12 for the Cavaliers (22-6, 11-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who moved within one game of the Tar Heels in the conference standings with two regular season games to play.
It was Brogdon who set the tone, North Carolina coach Roy Williams said, and it carried over all game long.
“Malcolm in the first half was as good a performance as we’ve had against us this year, maybe several years,” he said.
After halftime, Gill led the way, scoring 11 of his points, including the last six in the run that whipped the sellout crowd, which included Virginia great Ralph Sampson, into a frenzy. After a recent scoring slump, Gill’s resurgence was a welcome sight, coach Tony Bennett said.
“We needed it all, and that’s what I like to see,” he said.
Joel Berry II led the Tar Heels (23-6, 12-4) with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. Marcus Paige added 13 points and Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson each had 12, but Johnson, like Brogdon a league player of the year candidate, didn’t score for the last 17 minutes of the game.
“He got very discouraged,” Williams said of the 6-foot-10 senior, who arrived averaging 17.2 points and 10.6 rebounds, but was limited to just nine field goal attempts and was guilty of five of the Tar Heels’ 13 turnovers, including one pass that went well into the crowd.
“He got discouraged at that point, too,” Williams said.
The Tar Heels trailed by 11 after Virginia’s big run, but closed to within 77-74 with 14 seconds left on Paige’s 3-pointer. But North Carolina immediately fouled Devon Hall, and he made both free throws to give Virginia a little cushion.
Theo Pinson then missed a pair of free throws with 5.6 seconds left for North Carolina, and the scramble for the rebound killed most of the rest of the clock, ensuring Virginia’s 34th victory in its last 35 home games.
The game was close throughout the first half and the Tar Heels pulled even at 49 on Berry’s putback with just under 14 minutes remaining. A three-point play by Marial Shayok then sparked the 16-5 run for Virginia. Brogdon hit an 18-footer and his third 3-pointer of the game in the burst, and Gill, quiet up until that point with just two baskets, had three straight baskets to put Virginia ahead 65-54.
Virginia used an 11-5 run in the first half to open its largest lead at 29-21, but the Tar Heels answered immediately with a 14-7 burst that featured three of Berry’s four first-half 3-pointers. A lay-in by Isaiah Wilkins at the buzzer gave the Cavaliers a 38-35 lead at the intermission.
No. 1 Villanova 89, (at) Marquette 79: Kris Jenkins scored 19 points and Josh Hart had 19 on 7-of-8 shooting as Villanova pulled away.
The Wildcats (25-4, 14-2 Big East) rebounded nicely after a midweek loss at No. 5 Xavier to stay atop the conference, one game ahead of the Musketeers.
Daniel Ochefu had 18 points and gave Villanova an inside presence to complement Jenkins’ outside shooting. Jenkins was 4 of 9 from 3-point range.
Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, Marquette (18-11, 7-9) got within 42-39 with 19:46 left on two free throws by Duane Wilson. But the young Golden Eagles wilted against the Wildcats’ pressure.
Jajuan Johnson had 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting for Marquette.
(At) No. 2 Kansas 67, Texas Tech 58: Svi Mykhailiuk came off the bench to score 17 points, Frank Mason III added 16 and Kansas secured at least a share of its 12th straight Big 12 title.
Mykhailiuk hit five 3-pointers and didn’t miss a shot until the final minute, helping the Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3) extend one of the most remarkable streaks in major college basketball.
The only school to win more consecutive conference championships was UCLA, which won 13 in a row during the 1960s and ’70s. The Jayhawks can win their eighth outright title during their streak with a win Monday night at No. 25 Texas or in their regular-season finale against No. 17 Iowa State.
Toddrick Gotcher hit five 3-pointers and led the Red Raiders (18-10, 8-8) with 20 points.
(At) No. 25 Texas 76, No. 3 Oklahoma 63: Isaiah Taylor scored 18 points and Texas overwhelmed Oklahoma over the final 7 minutes.
Texas trailed 58-51 before Taylor converted a three-point play to start a 25-5 run down the stretch.
Buddy Hield scored 33 points for Oklahoma.
Connor Lammert and Javan Felix scored 14 points each for Texas (19-10, 10-6 Big 12).
Hield reached 30 points for the ninth time this season but faded badly like the rest of his teammates down the stretch.
Oklahoma (22-6, 10-6) went nearly 7 minutes without scoring as the Texas run cranked up. Hield didn’t break the Oklahoma scoring drought until making a 3-pointer in the final minute.
(At) No. 22 Utah 70, No. 9 Arizona 64: Brandon Taylor scored 19 points, including an ankle-breaking move to free himself for a game-clinching 3-pointer with 41 seconds to play, and Utah moved into a first-place tie with Oregon in the Pac-12.
Ryan Anderson made two free throws with 2:51 to play to give Arizona its last lead at 64-63. The Wildcats didn’t score again.
Taylor, who went 4 for 5 from beyond the arc, had five steals and a couple of hustle plays in the closing minutes to help the Utes retain possession and break a 12-game losing streak against Arizona.
Jakob Poeltl had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Utes, who won their sixth straight game.
Allonzo Trier scored 23 points and Anderson had 11 for the Wildcats, who have lost two after winning six straight.
(At) No. 12 Miami 73, No. 11 Louisville 65: Miami applied smothering defense led by center Tonye Jekiri to hold Louisville without a point for nearly 5 minutes down the stretch.
Miami rallied from a 62-58 deficit and scored 12 consecutive points. Louisville missed nine straight shots, several while pressured by the 7-foot Jekiri.
Jekiri, playing with four fouls, made both ends of a 1-and-1 to put the Hurricanes ahead to stay, 63-62.
Angel Rodriguez had 17 points and seven assists for the Hurricanes (23-5, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who completed a sweep of their nine league home games. The Cardinals (22-7, 11-5) fell behind Miami into third place in the league race with two games left.
Quentin Snider had 14 points for Louisville.
No. 14 West Virginia 70, (at) Oklahoma State 56: Jaysean Paige scored 17 points and Devin Williams recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds. It was the second straight win for West Virginia (22-7, 11-5 Big 12), as coach Bob Huggins moved ahead of Lefty Driesell into sole possession of 10th place on the NCAA Division I all-time wins list with 787.
Joe Burton scored a career-high 16 points to lead Oklahoma State (12-17, 3-13), which lost its fourth straight contest and seventh of its last eight.
(At) Vanderbilt 74, No. 16 Kentucky 62: Matthew Fisher-Davis tied his career-high with 20 points, and Vanderbilt got its third straight victory.
The Commodores (18-11, 10-6) have won six of their last eight to move closer to the top of the Southeastern Conference standings with two games left in the regular season. Vanderbilt came into this game tied with LSU for fourth place and is just a loss behind Kentucky for the league lead.
Jeff Roberson scored 16 points, twice scoring just before the shot clock expired in the second half, Damian Jones added 15 and Wade Baldwin IV had 14.
Kentucky (21-8, 11-5) lost for the second time in three games despite freshman Jamal Murray scoring 33 points. Tyler Ulis added 12 points, and coach John Calipari sent most of his bench to the locker room with 34 seconds left to avoid the court storming by Vanderbilt fans.
(At) No. 17 Iowa State 80, Kansas State 61: Matt Thomas scored 20 points and Georges Niang added 17 to help Iowa State clinch its fifth straight 20-win season.
Jameel McKay scored 14 points with 17 rebounds off the bench for the notoriously-thin Cyclones (20-9, 9-7 Big 12), who got 24 points from their reserves.
Iowa State strung together 13-0 runs in each half, which proved to be the difference. The Wildcats pulled as close as 65-59 before backup Hallice Cooke’s 3-pointer with just under four minutes left swung momentum back in favor of the Cyclones.
D.J. Johnson had 22 with nine boards for Kansas State (15-14, 4-12), which shot just 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
(At) No. 19 Baylor 86, TCU 71: Taurean Prince scored 22 points and Johnathan Motley led a dominant effort inside with 22 points and nine rebounds. The Bears (21-8, 10-6 Big 12) outrebounded the Horned Frogs 45-21 and had a 25-17 edge in second-chance points while matching a school record with their sixth Big 12 road win.
On the same day Kansas clinched at least a share of the league’s regular-season title, Baylor ended up in a three-way tie for third with third-ranked Oklahoma and No. 25 Texas with two games remaining before the conference tournament. No. 14 West Virginia (11-5) is alone in second.
Malique Trent had a career-high 25 points to lead TCU (11-18, 2-14), which fell to 0-9 against the Bears since joining the Big 12 and has lost all 10 games against ranked opponents this season.
No. 21 Texas A&M 84, (at) Missouri 69: Jalen Jones had 20 points and six rebounds to lead Texas A&M.
Admon Gilder and Danuel House added 14 points each for the Aggies (22-7, 11-5 Southeastern Conference), who are on a four-game winning streak. House had 12 points in the first half, shooting 4 for 8 from 3-point range.
Tramaine Isabell had 17 points, five assists and three rebounds in his first start of the season, matching his season-high point total.
Ryan Rosburg had 15 points and five rebounds for Missouri (10-19, 3-13), which ended the game on an 11-0 run after trailing by as many as 36 points.
(At) Florida St. 77, No. 23 Notre Dame 56: Dwayne Bacon scored 21 points and Florida State snapped a five-game losing streak.
It was the freshman’s 11th game this season with 20 points or more as the Seminoles (17-12, 7-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) led throughout. The losing streak was Florida State’s longest in nine seasons.
The Seminoles led throughout and at one point were up by 23 points in the second half. Benji Bell added 14 points for Florida State in its second win at home this season against a ranked team.
Demetrius Jackson had 13 points for Notre Dame (19-9, 10-6), which has dropped two of three. Zach Auguste added 12 points and 17 rebounds.