North Carolina leading scorer and rebounder Armando Bacot left Tuesday night’s 65-58 loss at No. 13 Virginia just over a minute into the game after injuring his left ankle.
Bacot rolled his ankle 1:18 into the contest and did not return. He was replaced by Jalen Washington, a freshman, who played 27 minutes in Bacot’s absence and matched his season total for field goals with five, as North Carolina went on a 21-5 run in the first half and led by seven points early in the second.
Tar Heels coach Hubert Davis said he didn’t see the play on which Bacot was hurt — “I just saw him on the ground,” Davis said — and had no update on his star’s status.
“I know he’s hurt pretty bad. I know he’s in a lot of pain,” Davis said, adding he didn’t find out that Bacot wouldn’t return until halftime. “I just want him to be OK.”
Armaan Franklin started Virginia’s second-half rally with a putback dunk, and Ben Vander Plas also had a putback dunk and a pair of 3s, putting Virginia (12-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) ahead 52-42 with nine minutes left.
Reece Beekman scored 13 points, and Franklin had 12 points and nine rebounds as the Cavaliers won their eighth straight meeting with the Tar Heels at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Tar Heels (11-6, 3-3) closed within 58-55 on Caleb Love‘s 3-pointer with 2:47 to go, but Isaac McKneely hit a deep 3 in front of the Virginia bench to restore the lead to six. Love made another 3, but Beekman drove an open lane for a dunk, Vander Plas made a steal and dunked and Kihei Clark forced a turnover to seal it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.