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No. 23 North Carolina women beat Virginia

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POSTED February 3, 2012 11:56 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Chay Shegog has been the major presence in the paint for No. 23 North Carolina all season long, and twice now Virginia has found the 6-foot-5 center a little too much to handle.

Shegog had 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting while Candace Wood added 14, leading the Tar Heels to a 64-56 win over the Cavaliers on Friday night and a sweep of the season series.

North Carolina (17-5, 7-2) won the teams' first meeting 78-73 in double overtime Jan. 5 in Charlottesville, Va., with Shegog collecting 23 points and 11 rebounds in that one.

"Chay had a great game," said Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell, whose team visits No. 5 Duke on Monday night. "We were going to her and I thought she'd get on the foul line a little bit more (than twice, hitting both.) Candace has made some big foul shots for us in several games, and at the end I was telling them 'Get it to Candace! Get it to Candace!' It was a great win."

Ariana Moorer led Virginia (16-8, 4-6) with 21 points while Lexie Gerson chipped in 14 and Ataira Franklin 11.

The Tar Heels shot 47.2 percent from the floor (25 of 53) to the Cavaliers' 32.2 percent (19 of 59), but the rebound battle finished at 35 apiece and North Carolina committed 22 turnovers to the visitors' 21.

"We started playing harder (in the second half) and started believing we belonged in the game," Virginia coach Joanne Boyle said. "We played more aggressively. But we didn't show up to play in the first half. We played so tentative. I don't know if it was scared, but we've got to be able to calm down and make layups and take pressure off ourselves. When we got to the second half we had some fight in us."

The Tar Heels led 35-24 at halftime behind 50 percent shooting and eight points from Shegog. Moorer had 13 at the break for the Cavaliers, who shot 27.3 for the period.

"We've been working a lot on our shooting," Shegog said. "We have outside practice and come in here and shoot. I think it's really helped. Tonight came down to determination. We were determined to get it done and did what we had to do."

Virginia led 12-11 with 14:37 left in the half before the Tar Heels went on a 10-0 run that included a pair of 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers chipped away in the second half, tying it at 52 and 54 before Tierra Ruffin-Pratt's three-point play with 1:32 left put North Carolina ahead for good.

Wood scored the game's final seven points.

"It feels good to be a bigger part of this," said Wood, who is averaging 7.1 points per game this season as a junior after scoring 1.7 points per game last season following two years of knee injuries. "Missing out my first two years I never thought I'd see this opportunity. It's been a great road and hopefully I'll keep improving."

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