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UNC freshman Nassir Little goes down with an injury in first half. Cam Johnson in the second

Roy Williams following loss to Virginia: ‘They made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t’

Roy Williams addresses the media following the Tar Heels' loss to Virginia on Monday, February 11, 2019 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Roy Williams addresses the media following the Tar Heels' loss to Virginia on Monday, February 11, 2019 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Carolina freshman Nassir Little went down with what appeared to be a right leg injury in the first half of UNC’s game against No. 4 Virginia.

A UNC spokesperson confirmed it was a right ankle injury. He did not return. The Tar Heels lost to the Cavaliers 69-61.

It was not immediately clear how he injured his ankle, but he grabbed it as he fell to the floor. Little had to be helped up but walked off on his own power into the locker room.

Little, who is 6-6, 220 pounds, is averaging 10.3 points per game and 4.7 rebounds this season. UNC freshman guard Coby White said it hurt losing Little in the first half.

“Nas is one of our effective players off the bench,” White said. “He can score. He’s big. He’s very athletic, can knock down shots. So I think it hurts our off-the-bench scoring. If he scores 12 or 10, now we win if he’s in the game.”

After the game UNC coach Roy Williams said Little suffered a sprained ankle but did not have any further details.

Little did not require assistance or a boot after the game like fellow freshman Leaky Black. Black sprained his ankle against Georgia Tech two weeks ago.

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Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Cam Johnson injury

In the second half, UNC graduate senior wing Johnson limped off the floor with a left ankle injury. He went back to the locker room but returned a few minutes later. Johnson is averaging 15.8 points per game this season, which is second on the team.

Johnson, who had ice wrapped around his left ankle after the game, said he twisted it after stepping on another player’s foot. He said he would be fine.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

Jonathan M. Alexander has been covering the North Carolina Tar Heels since May 2018. He previously covered Duke basketball and recruiting in the ACC. He is an alumnus of N.C. Central University.

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