Monday, January 11, 2010

HEALTHY HEELS HANDLE HOKIES

NO. 9 NORTH CAROLINA 78, VIRGINIA TECH 64 – We have no doubt Roy Williams has been preaching that all good things come from defense. Sometime during halftime last night in Chapel Hill, the young Tar Heels got the message and held the Hokies to just 26 second-half points.

Down four at the half, the Tar Heels overcame a big game from Malcolm Delaney and hit five consecutive three-pointers to put away the Hokies on Sunday night in a game much closer than the final margin indicated.

"I've always said we've got to have some (three-pointers). You've got to have a good mix," said Williams, who finally could ditch the pesky sling he'd worn since his late-November shoulder surgery. "The best teams have a good mix. We've been trying to have a good mix. We've got a lot of guys that can shoot them. I like the guys that make them."

Ed Davis had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, and Larry Drew II added 14 points. Deon Thompson and Will Graves added 13 apiece for the Tar Heels (12-4, 1-0 ACC).

They opened the second half with an efficient burst that helped them bounce back from a surprising overtime loss at the College of Charleston, improve to 11-0 at home and avoid losing their ACC opener for the second straight year.

Delaney returned from an ankle injury to score 20 of his 26 points in the first half, and almost single-handily willed the Hokies (12-2, 0-1) to their second victory in Chapel Hill since joining the league in 2004.

Dorenzo Hudson added 14 points on 7-of-22 shooting for Virginia Tech -- which had its nine-game winning streak snapped, and lost its fifth straight against ranked opposition.

Graves and freshman Leslie McDonald were listed as questionable two days earlier by Williams with sprained right ankles. But Graves not only started, he hit three timely treys for the Heels.

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