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Off the cuff: That 20-0 run was probably the most fun that Carolina fans have had this season.

The passes were crisp, the ball movement was excellent, the defense was intense and the shots were true.

Freshmen Coby White was the catalyst. Just before the run, White had make a driving scoop shot that got the home crowd really rockin'.

Then he hit an open three from the left wing and followed that up with a stepback three at the end of the shot clock to give Carolina its first lead of the game at 31-29 with 3:45 left in the opening half.

A minute and a half later, White hit a three from the right corner to give the Heels their first double-digit lead of the game at 39-29.

Sophomore Garrison Brooks, who had 11 of his 12 points in the first half, showed some emotion after he came up with an offensive rebound and went up strong to the hoop for two as he was fouled.

The run was especially fun after the Heels trailed by nine as they couldn't score and couldn't stop the Hokies from hitting threes.

Virginia Tech was ranked a slot higher in the national polls but Carolina has much superior depth. The Hokies played only seven players and two of them - guards Justin Robinson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker - got in foul trouble in the first half.

Tar Heels 103, Virginia Tech 82
Heels sink 16 threes to run by Hokies

North Carolina's 103-82 win looked like a blowout from the beginning but it looked like it would be Virginia Tech blowing out the Tar Heels. But then the Heels, using an aggressive defense, got hot on the offensive end, draining 16 threes to come from nine down for the victory. (1/21)

The No. 10 Hokies hit six of their first seven attempts from three-point land to go up 22-13. Despite only making one of their first 12 three-point attempts, Carolina hung in there by getting more aggressive on the defensive end.

Trailing 29-25 with five minutes left in the first half, the Tar Heels went "crazy," as UNC coach Roy Williams described it, by scoring the next 20 points of the game. All but six of those points came for Carolina freshmen.

Coach Williams said it helped that two of the Hokies starters were on the bench in foul trouble and that the ball starting going in the basket for the Heels.

Coby White, who had a game-high 27 points, hit three threes during the run. Leaky Black popped in a three and Nassir Little, who finished with 23 points, completed the freshmen scoring during the run with a pair of free throws. It seemed that every rebound, steal and assist came from a freshman during that stretch.

Little gave credit to everyone but the freshmen. "It's actually a testiment to the older guys and the coaching staff for getting us ready for this moment," he said.

The Hokies went from nine up to 16 down and were all but out of it by halftime.

The Tar Heels were well in control after they extended a 45-31 halftime lead to a 63-41 margin after senior Luke Maye sank a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 14:21 left in the game.

The hot shooting continued for Carolina as Little hit back-to-back threes and Kenny Williams followed with another three to give the Heels their biggest lead at 27 points, 83-56.

The 16 three pointers (16 of 34) were one shy of the Carolina record and were tied for the most during the Roy Williams era. After going one of 12 from behind the line, the Tar Heels hit 14 of their next 18 three pointers.

Coach Williams said the Carolina defense got better as the Heels forced some turnovers and started getting open for threes, which they hit.

The Heels hit 53.7 percent of their shots and nearly all of their free throws (15 of 17) as well as winning the rebound battle, 35-32.

In addition to White's 27 and Little's 23, three other Heels scored in double figures as Maye had 14, Garrison Brooks had 12 and Williams added 10.

North Carolina moves to 15-4 and 5-1 in the ACC, a half game ahead of the rest of the league, while Virginia Tech, led by Kenny Blackshear's 19 points and 17 rebounds, falls to 15-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference.

The Tar Heels are off for eight days before traveling to Georgia Tech Jan. 29.

Box score

UNC freshman Nassir Little had his best game as the Tar Heel with 23 points. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

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