Blog: UNC outlasts Virginia Tech, 60-56, for 11th in a row
Posted March 1
FINAL: UNC 60, VT 56: Virginia Tech gave North Carolina a scare Saturday in Blacksburg, but the Tar Heels were able to hold off the Hokies, 60-56, to win their 11th consecutive game. UNC had three players in double figures, led by James Michael McAdoo’s 15 points.
3:50 2nd: UNC 53, VT 45: James Michael McAdoo becomes the third Tar Heel in double digits after Leslie McDonald and PJ Tokoto. Carolina leads the Hokies by 8 points late in the second half.
7:44 2nd: UNC 45, VT 40: Leslie McDonald gave Carolina a 5-point lead with his third three-pointer of the game. Both teams shoot poor from the field as we are ate the under-8 media break in the second half.
11:36 2nd: UNC 39, VT 36: Virginia Tech came back to 36-36 on a three-pointer from Devin Wilson but JP Tokoto gave Carolina the lead back with a three-pointer for his 10th point of the game. Devin Wilson is lead scorer with 11 point and has 4 assist.
15:54 2nd: UNC 34, VT 25: Leslie Mcdonald is the first player to reach double digits as Carolina leads Virginia Tech by 9 points. Marcus Paige is in foul trouble with three fouls early in the 2nd half.
HALF: UNC 28, VT 21: Carolina started strong with a 7-0 run but Virginia Tech came back as the Tar Heels were shooting poor. After the under-8 media Virginia Tech had trouble to defend Marcus Paige. The Tar Heels points come from 9 different players as they have a seven-point lead at half. Virginia Tech scored only five points in the last 10 minutes.
Lead scorer of the game is Leslie McDonald with seven points. TJ Tokoto plays big with four points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
3:02 1st: UNC 23, VT 19: Carolina takes back the lead with a NBA range three-pointer from Marcus Paige and dunks from James Michael McAdoo and JP Tokoto.
7:29 1st: UNC 12, VT 16: Virginia Tech takes a four-point lead over a poor shooting North Carolina and are now on a 5-16 run. The Tar Heels keep missing close range shots and Marcus Paige can't find his way to the basket with 0 shots.
11:21 1st: UNC 11, VT 11: The Hokies are on a 4-11 run as they tie the game at 11. Carolina shoots 41% from the floor and missed some easy baskets.
15:18 1st: UNC 9, VT 4: The Tar Heels started with a 7-0 run forcing Virginia Tech to take a first time-out. McDonald scored 5 points for Carolina, including a 3-pointer and an easy basket after a steal.
20:00 1st: North Carolina 0, Virginia Tech 0: Roy Williams starts the same five: James Michael McAdoo, J.P. Tokoto, Leslie McDonald, Kennedy Meeks and Marcus Paige. Carolina needs a 11th consecutive win for a double bye in hte ACC Championship.
Virginia Tech starts Jarell Eddie, Joey Van Zegeren, Trevor Thompson, Devin Wilson and Wil Johnston.
With wins in 10 straight games, the 19th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will try to continue their rise in the ACC Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (WRAL-TV) when they visit the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum.
North Carolina's most recent victory did not come easily, as Marcus Paige scored 31 of his career-high 35 points after halftime to lift the Tar Heels to an 85-84 overtime win against N.C. State. They are now 21-7 overall and trailing third-place Duke by a half game in the league standings. They close out the season against the Blue Devils, but will contend with Notre Dame after Saturday's matchup with Virginia Tech.
Paige played brilliantly in the second frame to lift North Carolina over NC State. He connected on 11-of-21 shots from the floor overall, including a 7- of-12 showing from 3-point range, while also totaling six rebounds and five assists.
The Tar Heels shot an even 50 percent from the floor and had seven 3- pointers after intermission.
The Tar Heels can always get hot offensively. After all, they are second in the ACC in scoring (77.3 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (.462). North Carolina actually leads the conference in assists (15.9 apg) and rebounds (41 rpg), ranking among the top-20 in the country in each category.
Paige (17.5 ppg 5.6 apg) keeps the team moving at the offensive end, leading the way in both scoring and assists. James Michael McAdoo (14.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg) is a solid performer down low, and Leslie McDonald (10.8 ppg) and Brice Johnson (10.3 ppg) provide depth.
Virginia Tech has been stuck in reverse pretty much all season. The Hokies have lost three straight following just their second conference win of the campaign against Miami-Florida on Feb. 15. They will play their final two games of the season on the road against Maryland and Georgia Tech, respectively.
Virginia Tech clashed with Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday and, expectedly, limped away with a 66-48 loss. The Hokies connected on only 42.6 percent of their shots from the floor, while totaling almost twice as many turnovers (15) as assists (eight).
Just about every game the Hokies have been involved in has featured a struggle at the offensive end. They are netting just 64.6 ppg and shooting 41.2 percent from the floor. They also only manage 11.2 apg. However, the Hokies are the next best rebounding team in the ACC after the Tar Heels (37.5 rpg).
Jarell Eddie (13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) leads the team both in scoring and rebounding, although he is only shooting 35.5 percent from the floor. The second option on the roster is Ben Emelogu (10.8 ppg), who also shoots below 40 percent. However, Emelogu is suffering from a strained left Achilles, which has him listed as questionable for this bout.
There has been no mystery as to which of these programs has been the more dominant historically, with North Carolina owning a 63-13 all-time series advantage against the Hokies. That includes a 72-60 victory in last year's lone meeting.