UNC Uses Big 2nd Half to Beat Virginia Tech - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UNC Uses Big 2nd Half to Beat Virginia Tech

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Harrison Barnes scored nine of his 27 points during a 19-0 second-half run and No. 8 North Carolina bounced back from a 33-point loss at Florida State with an 82-68 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

John Henson added 16 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks for the Tar Heels (16-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed 44-36 before Barnes started the run with two free throws, a jumper and a dunk. Before it was over, it stretched to 31-5 and a 67-49 lead with 8:23 remaining.

The Hokies (11-7, 0-4) missed 15 straight shots during the run and lost their fourth straight. They are off to their first 0-4 start in league play since the 2006 team lost its first six.

Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 17 points and Dorenzo Hudson had 16, all in a dazzling span of less than 8 minutes in the first half. Jarell Eddie added 15 points and freshman Robert Brown had 12.

The Tar Heels trailed 39-34 at halftime but took command quickly once Barnes heated up. His six consecutive points and two free throws by Tyler Zeller tied it at 44, and with the Hokies unable to make anything, Barnes added an 8-footer, Reggie Bullock hit a 3-pointer and Henson a foul-line jumper. A three-point play by Zeller and Barnes' free throw finished the burst that last 5 1/2 minutes.

Dorian Finney-Smith's two free throws ended the Hokies' scoreless drought, but the Tar Heels scored seven more points before Brown's 3-pointer, Tech's first field goal in more than 9 minutes.

By then, the suspense was gone and both coaches substituted freely.

For a time, though, Hudson made it look like it could be a huge night for the Hokies.

Pulled from the starting lineup in favor of Brown, Hudson was nonetheless honored before the game for joining Virginia Tech's 1,000-point club. When he checked in at the first media timeout, he quickly established that he wanted to get busy on the scoring the next 1,000.

With the Hokies trailing 15-9, he hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, and then one from the right corner 1:21 later. That pulled the Hokies within 17-15, and the crowd flashed back to his 41-point game in 2010 against Seton Hall. It came before a foot injury ended last season early and a sprained knee slowed him this season, but with the crowd exhorting him to keep it up, he obliged.

His two free throws with 10:36 to play tied it, and his 3 gave the Hokies their first lead, 20-17. He added another 3 and a breakaway layup 13 seconds apart later in the half, giving Virginia Tech its biggest lead, 35-28.

Hudson had 16 points in the half, and Green had 10. While the packed Cassell Coliseum crowd could hardly contain themselves, the Hokies had trouble with the Tar Heels' big men. Henson and Tyler Zeller had five of the Tar Heels' first seven baskets, and they pulled to 39-34 at halftime when they inbounded the ball with nine-tenths of a second on the clock to Henson coming down the lane, and he jammed it with two hands.

Henson had 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the half, and Zeller scored six.

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