Feb. 21, 1998
By HANK KURZ Jr.AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Norman Nolan hit a 12-foot jumper with 49.4seconds left in overtime, and freshman Donald Hand made two huge plays in thelast half-minute Saturday, lifting Virginia past Clemson, 78-74.
Nolan’s basket gave Virginia (11-16, 3-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) onlyits second lead. When Hand rebounded a missed free throw by Nolan 21 secondslater, then drew a charge from Terrell McIntyre with 10 seconds to play, theCavaliers had ended their eight-game losing streak, the team’s longest in 14years.
Curtis Staples led the Cavaliers with 28 points, and Nolan had 24 points and12 rebounds. Hand finished with seven points, four assists and the two bigplays.
McIntyre led Clemson (15-12, 5-9) with 28 points.
Nolan’s go-ahead basket came when he beat a double-team down low, gettingthe Cavaliers in front 75-73. Their only other lead had come with 2:30remaining, when Willie Dersch hit a 3-pointer to make it 73-71.
Staples had a chance to win it for Virginia with 1.9 seconds in regulationwhen he was fouled on a 3-point try with the Cavaliers trailing 68-66, but hemissed on his first attempt before making the next two.
It was the second tie in the last 1:27, and both came after Virginiarallies. The first – from 11 points down – took nearly the entire second half,and the second came after Clemson took a 67-63 lead with 21.1 seconds to go.
Staples took care of the second one all by himself, hitting a 3-pointer with13 seconds left to make it 67-66, then adding the free throws after TonyChristie hit 1-of-2 free throws for Clemson with 7.2 seconds to play.
Staples finished with six 3-pointers and moved into second place on the NCAAcareer list with 403. He passed Radford’s Doug Day, who had 401, and is onlysix behind Keith Veney, who had 409 for Lamar and Marshall.
Virginia has at least three games remaining in its season.
The Cavaliers hadn’t lost eight in a row since 1974, and barely avoidedtheir first nine-game losing streak since the 1962 season.
At halftime, Virginia honored the 1980-81 Cavaliers, the first team inschool history to reach the Final Four. That team, featuring Ralph Sampson,senior co-captains Jeff Lamp and Lee Raker, and current Cavalier coach JeffJones at point guard, finished 29-4.
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