January 24, 2016
No. 2 North Carolina holds off Hokies
Zach LeDay's 17 points led Virginia Tech in a 75-70 defeat
(2) North Carolina (18-2, 7-0) 393675
Virginia Tech (12-8, 4-3) 343670
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,567
  • High Points: 17 - Zach LeDay
  • High Rebounds: 5 - Seth Allen

BLACKSBURG – North Carolina’s Brice Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, as No. 2 North Carolina overcame Virginia Tech in the final minute for a 75-70 victory in an ACC game played Sunday at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.

The Hokies fell to 12-8 overall, 4-3 in ACC play. North Carolina, which won its 12th straight game, moved to 18-2 overall, 7-0 in the ACC. The Tar Heels more than likely will move into the top spot in The Associated Press poll Monday by virtue of Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State last Tuesday.

North Carolina led by as many as 20 in the first half. The Tar Heels were up 57-49 with 11:01 remaining, but the Hokies went on a 12-2 run and took a 61-59 lead on a basket by Kerry Blackshear Jr. with 8:05 remaining. It was their only lead of the game.

Seth Allen made two free throws with 19.2 seconds left for the Hokies to pull to 72-70, but North Carolina’s Marcus Paige hit two free throws with 17.8 seconds remaining to push the lead back to four.

After Virginia Tech's Justin Bibbs missed a 3-pointer with 8 seconds to go, the Tar Heels' Johnson made one of two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining for the final margin.

“We shot 50 percent from the field in the second half, so we were doing OK offensively,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “We just couldn’t get enough stops and couldn’t keep them off the glass.

“We did a better job in the second half of taking better shots, and if you take better shots, obviously nobody is surprised, so you make more, and they have to play against a set defense. Then if you don’t turn the ball over and make a shot or take a good shot, then they have to play against a set defense as well. That helped us.”

Tech’s issues came on the glass. Six of Johnson’s 17 rebounds came on the offensive end. The Tar Heels had 20 offensive rebounds and scored 18 second-chance points. North Carolina outrebounded the Hokies 48-33.

“I think that was a big part of it [the outcome],” Williams said. “They have really good players, really tall, really long, really athletics – multiple guys that will play a long time on TV, and I’m sure that’s one of the things that Coach [Roy] Williams emphasizes.”

Zach LeDay led the Hokies with 17 points. Jalen Hudson added 14. LeDay has scored in double figures in six straight games and in 17 of the Hokies’ 20 games this season.

Virginia Tech next plays at home against Louisville on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop