Virginia Tech hands No. 18 North Carolina fourth straight loss
Field Level Media
Dec 4, 2022
Justyn Mutts scored 27 points as Virginia Tech upset No. 18 North Carolina 80-72 Sunday in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams in Blacksburg, Va.
Mutts shot 12 of 16 from the floor and also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Hokies (8-1, 1-0 ACC), who won their third straight game. Sean Pedulla added 14 points for Virginia Tech, while Hunter Cattoor tallied 13 and Grant Basile chipped in 12.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Tar Heels (5-4, 0-1), who could fall out of the next AP Top 25 Poll after being ranked No. 1 to start the season. UNC played this game without ACC Preseason Player of the Year Armando Bacot, who was dressed to play but was dealing with a right shoulder injury. UNC was also without D'Marco Dunn, who broke his left hand in practice on Saturday. He is expected to miss several weeks.
The Tar Heels were led by RJ Davis, Caleb Love and Pete Nance, who had 18 points apiece. Nance also had 10 boards.
UNC led 3-0 to open the game, and then Virginia Tech went on a 16-4 run, highlighted by a posterizing dunk from Cattoor. The Hokies never trailed again and would go on to lead by as many as 18 points.
UNC dug itself into a double-digit hole with poor play in the first half. In the final 18 minutes of the opening half, the Heels didn't tally an assist, nor did they grab an offensive rebound. UNC also shot 1 of 9 from 3-point land in the first half.
The Tar Heels battled back toward the end of the game and cut the deficit down to a single possession following an 11-3 run that was punctuated by a nifty layup from Love. The Hokies closed the game on a 13-8 stretch to seal the win.
Cattoor moved into ninth all-time in Virginia Tech history in 3-pointers made. He made three of the Hokies' seven shots from behind the arc. UNC shot an abysmal 3 of 17 from long range (17.6 percent).
The Tar Heels also had six assists to 10 turnovers. UNC lost the rebounding battle by 14 without Bacot.
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