Virginia Tech leads North Carolina 32-26 at halftime at the Smith Center. Marcus Paige leads UNC with nine points, all from 3-pointers. Jarell Eddie is pacing Virginia Tech with 10 points.
With PJ Hairston out with a concussion, the Tar Heels came out flat and the Hokies jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game, forcing Roy Williams to call a rare early timeout. Williams also called another timeout midway through the half.
But North Carolina cut into the lead and stayed within striking distance through the end of the half. The Tar Heels got within one or two points multiple times, but couldn’t tie or take the lead on several opportunities to do so. Virginia Tech led the entire half.
Paige helped keep the Tar Heels close with some timely threes. One cut the Hokies’ lead to three, another to one.
UNC got Leslie McDonald back after he missed the previous three games due to a suspension, but McDonald did not look sharp in the half. McDonald was 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-3 on 3-pointers, and he also had a turnover. His only points came on two free throws in the closing minutes, but he did chip in three assists.