BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Georgia Amoore hit three free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift No. 7 Virginia Tech to a 68-65 victory over No. 13 North Carolina on Sunday.
Amoore finished with a game-high 24 points, connecting on 7 of 17 from the floor, including a career-high six 3-pointers for the Hokies (12-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who registered their first victory over a ranked team this season.
“After this game, one of us was going to probably be ranked 12th or 13th and one’s going to be ranked 22nd. Which one do you want it to be?” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said of the win. “We have a lot of basketball left to play, but it’s big for a lot of different reasons. It’s big for your status at the moment, because it’s Carolina, a lot of different reasons. Yeah, it was big. We’re going to celebrate like it was big.”
With the game tied at 65, Virginia Tech called a timeout with 14.2 seconds to go. The Hokies ran the clock down, and Amoore was fouled by North Carolina’s Kennedy Todd-Williams while attempting a 3-pointer.
“I’m not sure if they were trying to (foul) or not, if the refs didn’t call it or something, but KT (Kayana Traylor) picked up my mis-dribble and kicked it back to me,” Amoore said. “I was like, ‘We’ve got 4 seconds left. I’ve got to put up something.’ I’m just thankful I drew a foul.”
North Carolina (9-4, 0-2) called a timeout after Amoore’s third free throw. The Tar Heels tried to inbound the ball, but Virginia Tech’s D’asia Gregg knocked the pass into the backcourt and time ran out.
Deja Kelly paced the Tar Heels with 21 points. North Carolina has lost three consecutive games.
“There were some things that I don’t want to be fined for, so I’ll just say there were some questionable things that we had to work through throughout the game,” North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart said. “Our plan was to foul late. We had a foul to give and we struggled doing that. So there were some late-game things that we didn’t execute as well. Possession game, and that’s what you expect on the road against a very good team.”
Elizabeth Kitley had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Hokies, who survived despite 20 turnovers.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels could have used Kelly in the final minute, but she fouled out on a charge call with 1:23 left. North Carolina looked unsettled on its final two possessions, and the end result was another close loss — three of the Tar Heels’ four losses have been by eight points or less.
Virginia Tech: Gregg was an unsung hero for the Hokies, who had lost two of their past three games. Her blocked shot of Anya Poole’s layup attempt with 18 seconds left set up the Hokies’ final possession. She also hit a 3-pointer with 1:45 to go that gave Virginia Tech a 65-64 lead. Gregg finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench.
“She has not started for us since she’s been here,” Brooks said. “But she’s finished a whole lot and that’s because that’s where her value is to our group. When she’s playing like that, we’re really good.”
Virginia Tech lost at Clemson on Thursday, but may stay in the top 10 after beating the Tar Heels. North Carolina will drop several spots after losing two games over the past week.
North Carolina: Visits Miami on Thursday.
Virginia Tech: Hosts rival Virginia on Thursday.