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Tar Heels Down Hokies, 96-81, For 20th Win

By: Matt Bowers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Seventh-ranked North Carolina got double-doubles from Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram and 20 points from RJ Davis, beating Virginia Tech, 96-81, on Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center.

Carolina (20-6, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) improved to 11-1 at home this season. The Hokies dropped to 14-11, 6-8 ACC. UNC maintained its half-game lead over Duke (11-3) and one-game lead over Virginia (11-4) in the ACC standings.

The Tar Heels clinched their 64th 20-win season and their third in a row under head coach Hubert Davis.

Bacot finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds on 11 of 16 shooting, tallying his school-record 81st double-double (and fifth in a row). He has seven 20-point games this season and passed NC State’s Ronnie Shavlik for second in ACC history in career rebounding.

The Tar Heels shot 56.7 percent in the second half, led by Bacot, who scored 19 points after the break.

“He outworked them,” Hubert Davis said of Bacot. “One of the things that Armando did really well in transition was sealing his man right in the middle of the paint. It’s a perfect place to get him the ball because they can’t double-team him. And he did a really good job of getting his low-post sealing.”

RJ Davis scored 20 points, tallying 20 or more for the 17th time this season, hitting three three-pointers and dishing out five assists. Ingram had 12 points and 17 rebounds. He had a double-double before halftime. Cormac Ryan connected on four three-pointers and scored 16. He has 34 points and eight three-pointers in the last two games.

“In combination with Harrison and RJ, you’ve now got three guys that are shooting the ball at a high level,” Hubert Davis said of Ryan. “That gives us even more space for Armando. It gives space to Elliot [Cadeau] to be able to get in gaps.”

After the Hokies hit six three-pointers in the first half, the Tar Heel defense limited them to 1 for 12 from behind the arc in the second.

MJ Collins led six Virginia Tech players in double figures with 18 points. Mylyjael Poteat added 15 points and eight rebounds.

“They have got a really good team,” said Hokie head coach Mike Young. “Armando has been a really good player in this league for a long time, as has RJ Davis. We had a good plan coming in, but those two kids were better than our plans. I tip my cap to the Tar Heels and Coach Davis.”

 “The way we came out today, we were dialed in on both ends of the floor,” said RJ Davis. “I think we kind of got our groove back a little bit in terms of our defensive mindset. It was in the gaps, it was talking, getting through screens and help side was there. I think this is definitely something we can improve on going into this bye week where we can catch our breath a little bit and recover.”

How It Happened
First Half
• The Tar Heels fell behind, 5-0, then ripped off a 10-0 run to take a 10-5 lead.
• Carolina later used a 9-1 burst to build its lead to 29-18 and force a Hokie timeout with 9:07 left in the half.
• Ingram scored his 1,000th point in the early going and had double-figure rebounds by the late stages of the half. He finished with 11 points and 12 boards by intermission.
• UNC led by as many as 14 points at 34-20 and had a 50-39 advantage at the half.
• In the first 20 minutes, UNC had a 25-16 rebounding edge and a 28-14 advantage in points in the paint. Tech had 18 first-half bench points to UNC’s nine, led by former Tar Heel Tyler Nickel’s nine.
• Carolina’s 11-point halftime lead was its largest since leading Louisville by 17 at the half on Jan. 17.

Second Half
• UNC started the second half on a hot streak, shooting 11 for 19 (57.9 percent) from the floor in the first 12 minutes coming out of the locker room.
• After scoring six points in the first half, Bacot had 19 in the second.
• The Hokies kept the score within striking distance for most of the second half but couldn’t close the gap to fewer than seven points.
• Tech was 6 of 14 from three-point range in the first half but 1 for 12 in the second.

Postgame Tidbits & Notes
• Carolina is 73-17 all-time against the Hokies, including 20-7 since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004-05.
• The Tar Heels are 34-6 against Tech in Chapel Hill, including 9-1 in the Smith Center.
• Saturday was only the second game in the last eight meetings in the series to be played in Chapel Hill. Six of the previous seven were played either in Blacksburg or the ACC Tournament.
• UNC improved to 11-1 in the Smith Center in 2023-24 and 38-6 in three seasons under Hubert Davis as head coach.
• Bacot had his third game this season and seventh game of his career with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. UNC is 7-0 when Bacot has at least 25 points and 10 rebounds.
• Bacot has 1,603 career rebounds, passing NC State’s Shavlik (1,598) for second-most in ACC history.
• Ingram scored his 1,000th career point in the opening four minutes. He now has 1,008.
• Ingram posted his fourth game with 15+ rebounds and his ninth double-double.
• Davis hit three of eight three-pointers for his 23rd consecutive games with multiple three-pointers (extending his own school record).
• Davis has 17 20-point games this season and 29 in his career. 
• Bacot made his 101st consecutive start.
• UNC had a 43-31 edge on the boards, has out-rebounded its opponents in 15 consecutive games and is 12-3 in that stretch.
• Former Tar Heel players in attendance on Saturday included Kevin Madden, Tyler Hansbrough, Marcus Ginyard, Coby White, Phil Ford, Luke Maye, Brandon Robinson, Dave Hanners and Matt Wenstrom.

Up Next
Carolina has a week off before visiting Virginia next Saturday afternoon February 24 at 4 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va., on ESPN.

Follow Tar Heel basketball on X at @UNC_Basketball and @UNCMBBstats and on Instagram at UNC_Basketball.






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