The North Carolina women’s basketball team (8-7, 3-7 ACC) took on the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-7, 4-7 ACC) away on Sunday at 4 p.m. The two teams battled it out for majority of the game, but ultimately the Hokies came away victorious, hitting 14 fourth-quarter free throws — two in the final seconds — to ice the game and claim a 73-69 win.
Virginia Tech has won five of its last six matchups against the Tar Heels. In UNC’s last victory over the Hokies, during the 2018-19 season, then-sophomore center Janelle Bailey had 21 points and then-junior guard Stephanie Watts had 17. The teams have also already met this season, with the Hokies defeating the Tar Heels 66-54 in Carmichael Arena just over two weeks ago.
In this year's second rendition of the bout, the two teams kept the score close for the first and second quarters, trading the lead back and forth. Virginia Tech had spectacular control on offense and was having no trouble passing around and finding the open man. At the end of the first half, Virginia Tech led by two, 34-32.
The Tar Heels came back strong in the third quarter, improving the quality of their offensive possessions. The now-senior Bailey received her third foul in the third quarter, though, taking a seat on the bench. The Tar Heels led by eight points halfway through the quarter, but the Hokies found heat while shooting 3-pointers and were able to catch back up by the end of the quarter. UNC had two turnovers due to traveling, setting them back a bit on offense. At the end of the third quarter, the Tar Heels led by three, 52-49.
Thanks to some early fouls from UNC, Virginia Tech was in the bonus a few minutes into the start of the fourth quarter. The game stayed close for the majority of the quarter. Virginia Tech took the lead late in the quarter, though, and Bailey fouled out with three minutes remaining. With a Virginia Tech steal on an inbound, the Hokies secured the win, 73-69.
Who stood out?
FIrst-year guard Deja Kelly stood out offensively, doing a great job running the ball at point. The Tar Heels' top scorers were graduate transfer guard Petra Holesínská and Bailey. Holesínská led with 21 points and Bailey followed with 14; however, both of them fouled out late in the fourth quarter — the first time two UNC players have fouled out this season.