January 19, 2012
Hokies fall 82-68 to UNC
By Jimmy Robertson
(8) North Carolina (16-3, 3-1) 344882
Virginia Tech (11-7, 0-4) 392968
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,847
  • High Points: 17 - Erick Green
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Victor Davila

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech made eight 3-pointers in the first half and led at halftime, but the Hokies couldn’t continue the hot shooting, and North Carolina ran away to an 82-68 ACC victory over Tech at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night.

The loss marked Tech’s fourth straight, as the Hokies fell to 11-7, 0-4 in the league. North Carolina, ranked No. 8 in both major polls, moved to 16-3, 3-1 in the ACC.

Behind Dorenzo Hudson, Tech drilled eight 3-pointers in the first half, with the senior guard canning four of them. As a result, the Hokies were able to take a 39-34 lead at halftime.

But the Tar Heels took control early in the second half. Trailing 44-36, North Carolina went on a 19-0 run and never looked back. Dorian Finney-Smith ended the run with two free throws at the 13:08 mark, but the Hokies didn’t score again until Robert Brown drained a 3-pointer with 9:25 remaining. By then, Tech trailed by 13, 62-49.

They just came out and punched us in the second half, and we didn't respond,” Tech guard Erick Green said. “We got out of our transition game, which we did really well in the first half. We got out and scored. But the difference was they came on in the second half and punched us in the mouth, and we didn't respond.”

North Carolina went on to lead by as many as 21, thanks largely to the play of Harrison Barnes. The sophomore scored a game-high 27 points, with 21 of those coming in the second half. John Henson and Tyler Zeller finished with double-doubles, as Henson scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Zeller added 14 points and grabbed 11 boards.

The Tar Heels shot 51.7 percent in the second half and finished at 45.5. In contrast, the Hokies shot 33.3 percent in the second half and finished at 36.8 percent for the game.

"I think we just got worn down,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said. “We're a young team that's a work in progress. There were some positive things to take out of it. It's real easy to be doom and gloom and have a bunch of negative energy, but that's not going to happen. No one said this was going to be easy. But I think we took a step forward. That team [North Carolina] we played is a very good basketball team that played really well in the second half."

Green led the Hokies with 17 points, while Hudson – who did not start for the first time this season – came off the bench to score 16. Jarell Eddie added 15 and Robert Brown, who started in Hudson’s place, had 12.

Tech continues conference play this Sunday with a game at in-state rival Virginia. Tip-off for the game is slated for 6 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MBBall).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

HokieSports Shop