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Virginia Tech 74, Tar Heels 70
Slow start continues UNC's demise

Despite strong play most of the game, North Carolina started slow and ended slow to lose its fifth conference game 74-70 at Virginia Tech. (2/4)

The Tar Heels fell behind by 12 early in the game but came back to take a 35-33 halftime lead. With the Heels ahead 41-40, Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney took over offensively and led the Hokies on a 14-6 run capped by a pair of long threes that put the home team up 54-47. The Heels never got the lead back after that five-minute run.

But the Hokies' leads were small and the Heels cut the margin to two points on several occasions including with just 1:08 left after a steal and layup by Larry Drew II that made it 69-67.

But Virginia Tech hit free throws down the stretch and Will Graves' three attempt, that would have cut the lead to just one, went all the way down and popped out. Carolina, while scoring on some free throws, only scored two buckets in the last seven minutes of the game.

It was a frustrating loss for the Tar Heels who outrebounded the Hokies and shot better from the field. But Carolina was just 20 of 30 from the free throw line and the Heels turned the ball over 19 times.

Carolina was hurt by Deon Thompson's foul trouble (he eventually fouled out with nearly three minutes left and just eight points). Ed Davis led the Heels with 15 minutes while freshmen John Henson and David Wear got their season highs with 14 and 12 points.

Delaney led the Hokies, now 17-4 and 4-3 in the conference, with 21 points.

Carolina, which drops to 13-9 overall and 2-5 in the ACC, plays at league leader Maryland Sunday afternoon.


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