CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Four Hokies scored in double-figures, but No. 8/9 North Carolina’s high-paced offense proved too difficult a challenge as the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team fell 93-77 to UNC on Thursday night at the Dean E. Smith Center. The Hokies fall to 11-12 and 1-7 in the ACC, while North Carolina improves to 20-3 and 5-2 in conference play.
The Hokies came into Chapel Hill looking for their first win against the Tar Heels since Dec. 1, 1984, but North Carolina, a team that averages 84.5 points per game, would push the tempo early on and jumped out to an 8-0 advantage in the opening three minutes. Tech pulled to within four points at the 14:10 mark, but UNC ended the first half with a 19-8 run and built a 48-32 lead heading into the intermission.
The Tar Heels overcame 16 first half turnovers by shooting a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor and 60 percent from behind the 3-point arc in the opening frame. For the game, the Hokies forced 26 turnovers, but negated the advantage with 24 turnovers of their own.
North Carolina extended its lead to 20 early in the second half, but the Hokies would not go away and narrowed the deficit to 13 points on Utaye Drye’s (Jr., Durham, N.C.) second 3-pointer of the season with 11:43 left.
However, the Tar Heels would respond with a run of their own and push their advantage to 21 points after Jessica Breland nailed a free throw to convert the 3-point play with 7:29 to remaining.
Virginia Tech put together an 11-5 run to cut the lead to 86-73 with 2:54 left on lay-up from Drye, but the Hokies could not narrow the lead any farther.
Lindsay Biggs (Jr., Midlothian, Va.) led Tech with 21 points on the evening. Biggs hit six 3-pointers, one shy of her career high seven 3-pointers set against Maryland earlier this season, and recorded her third 20-point scoring effort of the season. Drye added 19 points on the night, while Shani Grey (r-So., Windsor, Conn) and Brittany Gordon (So., Howard County, Md.) chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively.
Although Laura Haskins (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) had a team-high six rebounds, North Carolina controlled the boards and outrebounded Tech 22-9 in the first half and 38-25 for the game. UNC’s Breland pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and collected her sixth double-double of the season, adding 20 points.
North Carolina’s Rashanda McCants made her first nine shot attempts and paced five Tar Heels in double-figures with 23 points and six rebounds.
The Hokies return to action on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 2 p.m., as Tech travels to Charlottesville to face Virginia. The Cavaliers defeated the Hokies 75-69 earlier this season.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).