Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris each scored 16 points as Virginia matched its best conference start in nearly two decades with a 76-61 victory over North Carolina. London Perrantes also handed out nine assists for Virginia (14-5), which is 5-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the first since the 1994-1995 Regional Final team.
The Cavaliers led 38-29 at halftime, then built a second-half lead as large as 23 points in defeating the Tar Heels at home for the second straight season.
North Carolina (11-7, 1-4), which is off to its worst ACC start since the 2001-2002 team lost five of its first six league games, got 15 bench points from Kennedy Meeks.
Other Monday games of local interest…
N.C. State 65, Maryland 56
The Wolfpack were without the ACC’s leading scorer, but Ralston Turner more than picked up the slack. Turner tied a career-high with 23 points and N.C. State snapped a three-game home losing streak.
The hosts were playing without T.J. Warren, who leads the conference and is tied for seventh nationally averaging 22.2 points. Warren sat out Monday’s game with a sprained ankle, and Turner, who came in averaging just nine points, was 8-of-19 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds.
Maryland (11-8, 3-3) led by as much as 30-21 on Shaquille Cleare’s only points of the night at the 19:31 mark of the second half. The Wolfpack (12-7, 2-4) chipped away and eventually took the lead for good at 48-46 on Turner’s 3-pointer with 8:50 remaining in the game.
Evan Smotrycz and Dez Wells had 10 points each and Charles Mitchell added 18 rebounds to go along with eight points for Maryland.
Savannah State 79, Florida A&M 68
Deven Williams had 20 points as Savannah State stayed unbeaten in conference play.
The Tigers, who went 2-12 in the non-conference portion of their schedule, have defeated their first five MEAC opponents by an average margin of nearly 14 points.
Joshua Montgomery added 17 points and Terel Hall, 13 for Savannah State, which since joining the MEAC before the 2011-2012 season is 5-0 against A&M (7-12, 2-3).
Trey Kellum scored 18 points to pace the visiting Rattlers.
South Carolina State 69, Bethune-Cookman 67 (OT)
Matthew Hezekiah had the tying lay up and game-winning free throws in overtime for the Bulldogs.
Bethune-Cookman (2-19, 0-6 MEAC) went up 67-65 on Malik Jackson’s jumper with just over two minutes left in overtime, then Hezekiah, who had a team-high 19 points, evened things with a bucket at the 1:46 mark. While Bethune-Cookman missed its final four shot attempts, Hezekiah was fouled with 12 seconds to play and knocked down the game-winning charity shots.
Clemmye Owens missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer for Bethune-Cookman.
Adama Adams had 13 points and Jalen White and Koran White added 10 each for South Carolina State (6-12, 2-3), which shot 31 percent from the field in the first half, but made 60 percent of its field goal attempts in the second half and overtime.
Maurice Taylor had a game-high 20 points for the visiting Wildcats, who dropped their 17th consecutive game and 22nd straight on the road.
Belmont 62, Fairfield 53
J.J. Mann scored 15 points and Reece Chamberlain added 13 in the Bruins’ non-conference victory.
Belmont (14-7) led by as much as 38-25 on Chamberlain’s lay up at the 17:30 mark of the the second half, but Fairfield eventually tied the game at 53-53 after a pair of free throws from Amadou Sidibe with four minutes to play.
Those were the last points for the Stags as Mann had five points during a 9-0, game-ending run.
The teams played a make up from a December 11 game that had to be postponed when inclement weather kept Fairfield (4-15) from traveling to Nashville.
Marcus Gilbert had a game-high 16 points for the visitors from Fairfield, Connecticut.
Wofford 71, Western Carolina 61
Karl Cochran led the way with 23 points as the Terriers handed Western Carolina its first conference loss.
Wofford (8-10, 3-3 Southern Conference), which has the top scoring defense in the conference at just under 66 points allowed, held the visiting Catamounts to 31 percent shooting, including 27 percent in the second half, in winning at home for the fifth consecutive time in the series.
The conference’s third-leading scorer, Trey Sumler, scored 20 points for Western Carolina (11-9), which had started 4-0 against league foes for the first time since 1994-1995 before having a five-game winning streak snapped Monday.
North Carolina A&T 66, Delaware State 55
Richaud Pack’s 22 points paced A&T as the defending MEAC champions won their conference home opener.
Pack, the conference’s third-leading scorer, hit three 3-pointers and 11-of-11 from the free-throw line, part of a 24-for-30 night at the charity stripe for A&T (6-12, 2-1).
Tyshawn Thomas scored 17 points and Casey Walker chipped in with 16 for Delaware State, which fell to 4-14 overall and 0-6 in league play. The Hornets trailed by 16 at halftime, but hit 48 percent of their shots in the final 20 minutes and got as close as 59-50 with 4:21 left.