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Cavs fall to Eagles on late 3-pointer

Freshman guard Joe Rahon’s deep 3-pointer with just under 10 seconds left capped a game-ending 12-3 run for Boston College that propelled the Eagles to a 53-52 victory against Virginia Sunday afternoon.

Despite a 16-point, 8-rebound effort from junior forward Akil Mitchell, the Cavaliers (20-9, 10-6 ACC) fell to fourth in the ACC standings and squandered the momentum from Thursday evening’s 73-68 triumph against No. 3 Duke.

Virginia appeared to have secured the victory numerous times, including when junior guard Joe Harris hoisted an off-balance runner off the glass and through the net to stake his team to a 49-41 lead with 4:27 to play. Even after the Eagles (13-16, 5-11 ACC) clawed their way back to within 51-50, Harris had a chance to extend the lead to three with two free throws and 27.6 seconds showing on the clock. But he clanked the second, and senior guard Jontel Evans followed Rahon’s dagger — which sailed through the hoop despite a foul by Virginia freshman forward Evan Nolte — by bobbling the ball out of bounds on a baseline drive with 0.4 seconds left to kill the Cavaliers’ remaining hopes.

Virginia showed few early signs of a lingering emotional hangover from the Duke win, jumping out to a 15-7 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Boston College countered with a 15-2 run of its own, however, exploiting the Cavaliers’ poor perimeter defense and capitalizing on their sloppy passing to seize a 22-17 lead. Only after a media timeout with 3:37 remaining in the half did coach Tony Bennett’s squad reclaim composure. Virginia outscored the Eagles 8-2 to close out the half with a 25-24 lead.

Buoyed by sophomore guard Paul Jesperson’s sizzling 3-point shooting and Mitchell’s steady post play, the Cavaliers were able to keep Boston College at arm’s length for much of the second half until the Eagles’ ultimate game-deciding run.

Fresh off a 36-point outburst on national TV, Harris struggled Sunday afternoon. His 14 points resulted primarily from layups and free throws, as his normally reliable jump shot form fizzled out after hitting a pair of early 3-pointers. Beside Mitchell and Harris, no other Cavalier reached double figures.

Rahon paced Boston College with 15 points, while freshman guard Olivier Hanlan also contributed 13 points and five rebounds.

Virginia will travel to Tallahassee to clash with Florida State Thursday before rounding out its ACC schedule against Maryland at home next Sunday.

—compiled by Fritz Metzinger

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