BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Lindsay Biggs scored 19 points to lead a balanced offense, and Virginia Tech surprised North Carolina (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) 79-64 on Thursday night for its first win over the Tar Heels in more than 25 years.
Brittany Gordon added 17 points and seven rebounds for Virginia Tech (11-5, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost the last nine in the series dating to Dec. 1, 1984. It was also the first time the Hokies had beaten longtime North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell.
"It feels great," said Utahya Drye, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. "I've always wanted to beat Carolina. I'm so proud of my team. They gave me, Lindsay and Lakeisha [Logan] a great win in our senior season. I'm at a loss for words right now."
Chay Shegog scored 13 points off the bench for North Carolina (13-3, 1-1), but the story was more about who didn't produce for the Tar Heels. Leading scorer Italee Lucas had nine points on 3-of-13 shooting, and Cetera DeGraffenreid was held to five points on 1-of-11.
The Tar Heels shot only 33 percent (24 for 72) from the field, including 4 for 17 on 3-pointers, and 12 for 24 on free throws. They also committed 23 turnovers.
Virginia Tech, which shot 49 percent (33 for 67), was coming off a 66-63 loss to Wake Forest, and for a while things didn't look like they were going to go any better.
She'la White hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first couple of minutes and North Carolina extended its early lead to 16-8 before Virginia Tech called a timeout. It seemed to settle the Hokies, who went on an 11-1 run highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers by Biggs and a jumper by the 5-foot-11 guard that gave the Hokies the lead.
Virginia Tech managed to hang onto a 35-31 lead at halftime, then scored the first nine points after the break. Gordon scored on a pair of baskets inside off assists by Nikki Davis.
The lead swelled to 64-41 on a basket by Drye with 8:20 remaining, forcing Hatchell to call a timeout. North Carolina ripped off a 10-0 run of its own, and closed to 71-61 with 2:23 left on a layup by DeGraffenreid.
That was as close as North Carolina got.
"You have to expect runs with North Carolina, you know, because it's North Carolina," said Davis, who finished with a career-high 11 assists. "You have to expect things like that, but we weathered the storm. We knew it was coming, but we had to be prepared for it."
Fenyn and Drye scored on back-to-back layups, and Davis made a pair of free throws to help seal the Hokies' first win over a ranked team since beating Boston College 67-62 on Jan. 8, 2006. It was also their first win over a top-10 team since beating Duke on Nov. 15, 1982.
"It hit me with like, a minute to go," Biggs said. "I looked up and I was like, 'Wow, we're about to win this game.' I don't know when it hit everyone else, but it was definitely exciting."