- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2001


CHARLOTTESVILLE There's no bigger motivation than vengeance. Just ask Virginia.

Adam Hall hit a layup with less than a second remaining as the 12th-ranked Cavaliers upset third-ranked Duke 91-89 last night before a full house at University Hall. Virginia had to wait until the final moment, but it managed to ease the pain of a humiliation by the Blue Devils earlier this season.

"We didn't talk about [the 101-63 loss Jan. 13] too much; they've been blowing us out for three years," said Hall, who finished with 17 points. "We just took the negatives out of those games and used them as motivation."

The victory by the Cavaliers (17-6, 6-6 ACC), which ended Duke's ACC-record 24-game road winning streak, may have been the most shocking of the conference season considering the circumstances. After reaching No. 6 in the Associated Press poll, Virginia lost to unranked N.C. State and Georgia Tech last week.

Plus, in the first game between the teams this season, the Blue Devils used a 23-0 first-half run to blow out the Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor Stadium for their 12th straight victory in the series. So Virginia began the game in somewhat of a swoon against a team it hadn't beaten since January 1996.

"The ACC is a very unforgiving league," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "You can go into a tailspin at any time. We're still a young team, and we can't go toe-to-toe every night. It's a big mental victory to beat Duke in a close game."

The winning basket came on a broken play. After Shane Battier (game-high 24 points) tied the game on two free throws with 14.3 seconds left, Virginia's Roger Mason Jr. isolated himself on Chris Duhon up top. Mason broke past him to the basket but lost the ball on the way up. Hall snagged it out of the air and laid it in with 0.9 seconds left.

Hall also intercepted the inbounds pass by Mike Dunleavy. He threw the ball into the stands and jumped on the scorer's table as the fans mobbed him.

"We said, 'We're not going to lose this game; we're not going to go to overtime,' " Hall said. "I had to decide whether to dunk it or lay it in, so I just tried to get it out of my hands as quick as possible."

Hall, Virginia's starting small forward, also made an impact defensively. Before the game, he asked Gillen whether he could mark point guard Jason Williams, and he held Williams to 14 points on 5-for-21 shooting.

"I think we need to work harder to get the ball," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We deferred too much with [Hall] there denying it. He's done that before; that wasn't, 'Surprise, here's what we're doing.' He's done that a number of games… . Nothing they did surprised us, but the effort was amazing."

Virginia outplayed Duke (22-3, 10-2) most of the game, but the Blue Devils managed to stick around using their crutch the 3-pointer. Duhon hit all five of his attempts in the second half as Duke made 14 of 30 shots from behind the arc for the game.

For a while, it didn't look like Hall would get a chance for any heroics. Dunleavy picked up his fourth foul with 16:34 left in the game, which forced Krzyzewski to bring Duhon (20 points) off the bench. He hit consecutive 3-pointers to start an 11-0 run that gave Duke a 61-55 lead with 13:53 left.

Virginia didn't help itself during the spurt by trying to match the outside shooting with 3s of its own, and Gillen reminded his team about that during a timeout. Calmed down, the Cavaliers managed to exchange baskets with the Blue Devils until an emphatic putback dunk by Travis Watson started a 9-0 run for a 73-68 lead with a little less than nine minutes remaining. The Cavaliers led most of the rest of the way until Battier made two free throws to tie it 89-89 with 14.3 seconds left, setting up the final play.

Virginia trailed 53-20 at halftime of the first game, but that wasn't the case last night, when the Cavaliers scored 20 second-chance points en route to a 46-42 lead at the break. Virginia outrebounded Duke 25-10 in the first half, including 13-5 on the offensive glass.

Even with the big edge on the boards, the Cavaliers couldn't put any distance between them and Duke until late in the half, mostly because of Battier. The national player of the year finalist hit four of his first five 3-pointers, the last giving Duke a 30-28 lead with 9:07 remaining.

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