Hokie Sweep: Tech tops Tar Heels in Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) – Zabian Dowdell scored a career-high 33
points and Deron Washington blocked Ty Lawson’s shot in the lane in the
closing seconds of overtime, as Virginia Tech notched its second upset of
North Carolina with an 81-80 squeaker over the fourth-ranked Tar Heels.
Washington ended with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hokies (18-7, 8-3
ACC), who also beat UNC by a 94-88 count on January 13. Jamon Gordon had 10
points for Virginia Tech, which won for the fifth time in seven contests.
“There’s such a thin line between winning and losing, and last year we
couldn’t impose our will on the game,” Hokies coach Seth Greenberg said. “This
year it seems like we’ve gotten stops when we needed to. Why? I don’t know,
maybe the basketball Gods are on our side.”
Tyler Hansbrough ended with 22 points and eight rebounds for the Tar Heels
(22-4, 8-3), who had won seven of eight entering the contest. Wayne Ellington
had 14 points and Lawson 13 in a losing cause, as the Tar Heels lost for just
the fifth time in 30 meetings versus the Hokies in Chapel Hill. UNC is 55-12
all-time against Virginia Tech.
Lawson missed a shot just before the buzzer to end regulation.
The Hokies took the lead for good in the OT when Dowdell hit two free throws
with 1:27 left for an 81-79 edge. Ellington then missed a three-point attempt
from the left corner, but Washington missed a shot to give UNC the ball back.
Hansbrough was fouled in the lane with 13.9 seconds left, but made just one
shot. It was typical of a rough night from the line for the Heels, who ended
25-of-37, on the way to their first home loss (14-1) of the season.
“This game’s very frustrating, especially at home, against a team that’s
already beaten you,” Hansbrough said. “We wanted to come in here and get a big
win since they beat us like they did at their place. We just didn’t make the
big plays that we needed. I missed a free throw that would have been big for
Markus Sailes then missed two free throws for the Hokies with 7.1 seconds
left, setting up the final play. Lawson lost the ball as he drove into the
lane, but regained possession, only to have the ball swatted away. A double-
pump off-balance three-pointer by Ellington was good, but after the final horn
“We were supposed to run a play, but they came and doubled so that messed
everything up,” Lawson said. “I couldn’t find anybody open, so I tried to get
a shot off, but they blocked it in the lane. They were clogging the lane. That
was our main objective, but they clogged it. I think they knew what we were
going to do.”
The Hokies led by as many as eight in the opening half, but the Tar Heels
scored seven in a row to close their deficit to 21-20. UNC had the final seven
points of the half for a 34-30 edge, with Ellington’s three capping the burst.
The Tar Heels led by as many as seven in the second half, the last time at
68-61 following Hansbrough’s jumper with 6:47 left in regulation. However, the
Hokies eventually went ahead 72-71 on a jumper from Dowdell with 2:35
Danny Green countered with a jumper for the Tar Heels before one free throw
from Nigel Munson in the final minute sent the game into OT.
Carolina lost its sixth consecutive overtime game. The Tar Heels have not won
an overtime game since beating Georgia Tech on March 1, 2000. Four of the six
overtime losses have come at home…Dowdell made 28 of 34 free throws in the
two games this season against the Tar Heels…UNC tied its season-low with
three three-point field goals made (3-for-17)…In the two games against
Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels have shot 41-of-66 from the free throw line (62.1
percent)…Dowdell ended 17-of-19 from the foul line, while Hansbrough ended