UNC-Greensboro holds off Virginia Tech 55-52
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Kayel Locke scored 15 points, including six in the final two minutes as the University of North Carolina-Greensboro defeated Virginia Tech 55-52 on Saturday.
Locke’s basket with 1:23 left gave the Spartans a 50-49 lead and they held on down the stretch. Kyle Cain scored a game-high 18 points to lead UNCG.
The Spartans (7-7) rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to record just their second victory ever over an ACC team. Their only other victory over an ACC team came against Georgia Tech during the 2007-08 season.
UNCG trailed 43-32 after two free throws by Virginia Tech’s Ben Emelogu with 10:06 left in the game. But the Spartans went on an 18-6 run over the next 9:23, with Cain scoring nine of his 18 in that span. The run ended with Locke’s basket that gave the Spartans their first lead since the 19:47 mark of the second half.
Virginia Tech’s Marshall Wood missed a 3-pointer with 1:07 left, and Locke went to work again for the Spartans, scoring on a layup with 34 seconds remaining to give UNC-Greensboro a 52-49 lead.
The Hokies got a free throw from Wood with 17 seconds left that sliced the UNCG lead to 52-50, and they then fouled the Spartans’ Drew Parker, who made the second of two free throws that gave UNCG a 53-50 lead.
Virginia Tech (7-5) had a chance to tie the game with 10.1 seconds left. Devin Wilson made a layup and was fouled, but he missed a free throw that would have tied the game at 53.
RJ White hit two free throws with 9.3 seconds left to give the Spartans a 55-52 lead. Wood then missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left that would have tied the game.
The Hokies got 14 points from Wood, who made just 4 of 13 from the floor on a day when the Hokies made just 36 percent of their shots (18 of 50). Virginia Tech’s leading scorer, Jarell Eddie, made just 1 of 12 from the floor and scored four points. He had scored in double figures in every game this season.
Cain hit 8 of 14 from the floor and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who battled the bigger Hokies even on the boards (34 each).
Both teams played without starters because of injuries. Tevon Saddler, who was averaging 11.8 points per game, sat out for the Spartans (undisclosed), while the Hokies were without guard Adam Smith, who missed the game with a calf injury. Smith was averaging 13.1 points per game.