BLACKSBURG, Va. - Regan Magarity scored 24 points and No. 18 Virginia Tech remained unbeaten on the season after a 76-68 win over North Carolina on Monday night in the ACC women’s basketball opener for both teams.
Virginia Tech (14-0, 1-0) continues its second best start to a season in program history by knocking off the Tar Heels for the first time in Blacksburg since 2010.
Watts and Sidney Cook of Virginia Tech each registered their ACC leading seventh double-double. Cook had 16 points and 13 boards. Magarity had 17 rebounds to go with her game-high 24 points.
The Hokies did their best Tar Heel impersonation in the first quarter, making five shots from downtown, while UNC was uncharacteristically cold missing all five of its three-point attempts.
In fact, Virginia Tech didn’t make a two-point shot until the three minute, 20 second mark of the first. Kea scored six points in the quarter but Carolina found itself trailing 24-16 to the nationally-ranked Hokies.
Taylor Koenen gave Carolina a big lift in the second quarter off the bench. Her six points allowed the Tar Heels to stay in the game after falling behind by as many as 11 points, 32-21, after a Chanette Hicks (10 points) layup.
Watts and Walker scored the final four points of the first half to cap an 11-5 run that cut the Hokie lead to 37-32 at intermission.
The margin hovered around five points into the third quarter, however, back-to-back layups from Jamie Cherry and Walker got UNC within a point, 42-41. After a Virginia Tech timeout, Walker gave Carolina its first lead with a corner 3-pointer at the 6:02 mark.
After the triple, UNC went scoreless the next 4:01, allowing Virginia Tech to regain momentum and an 11-0 run made it 52-44, and after three quarters. the Hokies still led by five, 56-51.
Virginia Tech’s lead grew to as many as 13 points on three separate occasions in the fourth quarter after Carolina scored only one point in the first four minutes. Despite Watts catching fire late with a trio of three-pointers, the Tar Heels never got closer than seven points in the final minute.
North Carolina hosts No. 6 Florida State on Thursday at 7 p.m.