Hokies dump No. 1 Tar Heels
Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) – North Carolina’s reign as the top team in
the nation will most likely be a short one, after the Virginia Tech Hokies,
behind 23 points from Zabian Dowdell, handed the Tar Heels a 94-88 defeat.
Jamon Gordon added 17 points and six rebounds, while A.D. Vassallo also ended
with 17 points for the Hokies (13-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are
making a name for themselves in the ACC this season.
Virginia Tech won for the fourth straight time overall, and that streak
includes a 69-67 win over Duke last weekend.
Tyler Hansbrough had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels (15-2, 2-1),
who had their 12-game winning streak ended in their first road game as the
top-ranked team in the country.
Brandan Wright had 13 points in the loss, while Ty Lawson ended with 11.
The win wasn’t easy for the Hokies, as they led by as many as 23 before a late
North Carolina run.
Down 85-72 at the 2 1/2 minute mark, Lawson knocked down a three and a layup
to make it an 11-point game, and Wayne Ellington followed with a three-point
play to cut it to 85-77.
Ellington’s three with under a minute to play made it a six-point game, and
Lawson’s ensuing layup pulled the Tar Heels to within 89-85.
Vassallo knocked down a pair from the line, and Hansbrough’s three-point try
on the other end was no good. Hansbrough got the rebound though, and the ball
ended up in Lawson’s hands, who drove the lane and converted a layup while
He hit the free throw to make it a 91-88 deficit with less than 20 seconds
remaining. Dowdell was fouled by the Tar Heels, but hit only one from the
Danny Green then missed a three for the Tar Heels, and Gordon sealed the
win with two from the line.
It was North Carolina early, but the first half eventually belonged to
Virginia Tech, as it carried a 47-37 lead into the break.
Up by just one, Wright’s jumper began a 10-3 stretch for the Tar Heels, as
back-to-back threes by Reyshawn Terry and Lawson made it a 17-9 game just over
four minutes in.
A pair from the line by Hansbrough with around 13 minutes left put North
Carolina ahead 21-13 before the game’s momentum changed.
Dowdell’s three just moments later began what turned into a 17-0 run for the
Hokies. Vassallo also hit a three during the run, and Gordon netted the final
five points of the burst, as Virginia Tech led 30-21 at the 7 1/2 minute mark.
A jumper by Wright with under three minutes left pulled North Carolina within
40-36, but Zabian Dowdell ripped off seven straight points.
An 8-0 second-half run by Virginia Tech furthered their lead to 17 on a dunk
by Coleman Collins just over five minutes in. The Hokies edge rose to 23 with
11:28 to go on a layup by Vassallo that made it a 68-45 game.
Virginia Tech shot a blistering 52.6 percent from the floor and hit 27-of-38
from the free throw line…North Carolina hit on 43.8 percent of its shots and
was 16-of-29 from the line…The Tar Heels had 17 turnovers…Collins ended
with 12 points.