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The Daily Tar Heel

Poor 3-Point Shooting Costs Tar Heels in Loss

UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell designed the final play for senior LaQuanda Barksdale, but she never got the ball.

Her North Carolina team trailed Virginia 76-73 with 9.8 seconds left Sunday, and she needed a 3-pointer from someone.

The Tar Heels were just 1-for-16 behind the arc to that point. So Hatchell did what any coach might have done --she drew up the final play for the player who had made a 3 earlier in the game.

But forward LaQuanda Barksdale never got the ball.

Juana Brown lost the handle, and Coretta Brown's desperation heave from 28 feet at the buzzer fell short.

It was a fitting ending.

"We didn't make the 3s," Hatchell said, "and basically that was the bottom line."

Virginia (16-10, 7-6 in the ACC), however, made its long-range bombs. The Cavaliers were 8-for-19 on 3-point shots, including 5-for-9 in the second half.

The 3-point accuracy could not have occurred at a better time for the struggling Cavaliers.

Virginia was thumped 87-70 at home Thursday by last-place Georgia Tech, prompting coach Debbie Ryan to apologize to the university for her team's lack of effort.

"It's a huge win. It's just a huge win," Ryan said. "Right now, it's everything. We were really reeling from what happened Thursday night.

"We really came together as a team tonight."

Forward Schuye LaRue was the glue. She tallied 23 points and 19 rebounds in 39 minutes and was one first-half rebound away from posting a double-double in each half.

But UNC's Barksdale matched her play for play. Barksdale recorded her 15th double-double of the season, finishing with 27 points and 12 boards in 40 minutes.

"It was an awesome display from both of them," Ryan said. "We couldn't stop Barksdale, and they couldn't stop Schuye."

LaRue just happened to receive better support from her teammates Sunday. Barksdale had Candace Sutton (18 points, nine boards), but North Carolina's two Browns combined to shoot 7-for-30.

Svetlana Volnaya (18 points), meanwhile, was one of four Virginia starters who scored in double figures.

She also made perhaps the game's biggest play.

With Virginia leading 74-73, Volnaya drove the lane and kicked the ball out to guard Anna Prillaman, who was alone on the right wing. Prillaman knocked down the shot.

"I wasn't really wanting to shoot the shot, but once I got it there was nothing I could do but shoot it," Prillaman said. "I'm just very happy it went in."

Prillaman's jumper forced UNC to go for a trey on its final possession, the one thing the Tar Heels couldn't do successfully. UNC (13-10, 7-6) outrebounded the Cavaliers 48-43 and tied a season best with 11 turnovers, but it wasn't enough.

"When you look at the stat sheet, it's hard for me to get upset with them," said Hatchell, whose team had averaged nine 3-pointers in its three previous games. "The 3-pointers just didn't go where they've been going."

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The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.