For at least a half, the Virginia Tech Hokies didn’t look like the only winless team in the ACC. The Hokies hosted No. 8 unc at the Cassell Coliseum Thursday night and used some hot three-point shooting to take a surprising 39-34 lead into the half.
But the tar heels, still reeling from their embarrassing road loss to fsu – the worst loss ever by unc under Roy Williams, came out in the second half a much different team than a packed Cassell Coliseum saw in the first half.
The second half started off pretty good for Tech with Victor Davila’s spin move to open the scoring and give the Hokies a 41-34 lead. unc answered but Green’s three from the top of the key gave Tech it’s largest lead of the game, 44-36. And then the wheels came off.
Tech’s hot shooting cooled off, unc’s defense tightened up and it was all downhill from there. The heels used an early 19-0 second-half run and never looked back on their way to the 82-68 win. Harrison Barnes led all scores with 27 points.
On the plus side, junior guard Erick Green extended his ACC-leading streak of scoring at least 10 points to 19 straight games. He had 17 points to lead the Hokies, 10 of which came in the first half. Jarrell Eddie scored 15 while Robert Brown added 12.
Meanwhile, struggling senior guard Dorenzo Hudson came off the bench for the first time all season and he played lights out… in the first half. Zo was a perfect 5/5 from the field in the first half, including 4/4 from three-point range and 2/2 at the free throw line. He led the Hokies with 16 points in the first half, but disappeared in the second posting a big zero.
The Hokies got off to their traditional slow start, but also held unc in check to keep it close. Trailing 4-1 four minutes into the game, Green got the Hokies’ first field goal with a three-pointer that tied the game. The heels pulled ahead slightly and held a 17-12 lead before the Hokies exploded for a quick 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 20-17.
From there, the Hokies started raining threes. Brown’s three gave the Hokies a 27-23 lead. Eddie’s trey made it 30-26. Hudson’s triple kept the Hokies in front 33-28. Immediately after that three, Green stole a unc pass, fed Hudson who laid it in at the other end for a 35-28 lead, Tech’s largest of the half.
Brown added a baseline floater and Green buried his second three of the half to cap VT’s first-half scoring. In all, the Hokies hit 8/16 three pointers in the first half and that was the difference. The tar heels did steal the momentum going into the break with an inbound pass and dunk with .9 seconds left.
As we said, the second half was all tar heels.
With the loss, Tech’s fourth straight, the Hokies fall to 0-4 in the ACC and 11-7 overall. They play at No. 16 uva on Sunday at 6 p.m.
SCORES AT THE MEDIA TIMEOUTS:
- U16: unc 8-4
- U12: unc 15-12
- U8: VT 24-23
- U4: VT 35-30
HALF: VT 39-34
- U16: unc 53-44
- U12: unc 58-46
- U8: unc 67-49
- U4: unc 78-61
FINAL unc 82-68