CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – UNC’s sharpshooters were in a groove Monday in a 78-68 victory over Virginia Tech. The win came after the Tar Heels lost by a combined 50 points in their last two outings.
Armando Bacot led the way as UNC jumped on the Hokies early on. He had 12 of the team’s first 14 points. He then set up Leaky Black’s 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 17-6 less than 7 minutes into the contest.
Virginia Tech came right back with a surge thanks to sharpshooting by Keve Aluma and Hunter Cattoor. Eight unanswered points had the visitors within a basket, 17-14, just before the midway point of the first half.
On the back of Aluma, Virginia Tech took the lead twice, but a 3 from Caleb Love in the final 2 minutes helped UNC take the lead into halftime.
Justyn Mutts scored 5 quick points in the first 65 seconds of the second half to give the Hokies the lead again, 38-37.
Timely shooting from behind the arc proved to be a theme in the second half for UNC. Love and Black hit twice from long range to put the Tar Heels ahead 47-40 with 15:37 to play. The Hokies didn’t let the hosts run away, though. Sean Pedulla pulled Virginia Tech within a shot, 54-52, only for Brady Manek to answer with a 3-pointer.
Two more 3s — another from Manek and one from R.J. Davis — had UNC up 68-56 with 2:55 left.
UNC finished the game 10-of-25 from 3-point range. The Tar Heels got plenty of second chances, too, by grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
Bacot had 19 rebounds and 14 points. All five starters scored in double figures with Love’s 22 leading the way.
UNC faces a quick turnaround when Boston College visits on Wednesday.