Bacot's dominant second half leads UNC basketball to win over Virginia Tech

The Richmond, Virginia native took over the final 20 minutes of action to lead the UNC basketball program to a double-digit victory on Saturday afternoon.

Duke v North Carolina
Duke v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Behind a stellar second half from Armando Bacot, the UNC basketball program picked up win No. 20 on the season in double-digit fashion.

447. UNC VT. 96. 441. Final. 81

After scoring just six first half points, Bacot had his way in the second half, scoring 19 of his game-high 25 points. Virginia Tech tried to double the Richmond, Virginia native, but he did a tremendous job of picking when to attack the basket or when to find the open teammate.

Overall, the game felt like one that North Carolina had control of but simply couldn't pull away. The Hokies cut the lead on various occasions, but on each occasion, the Tar Heels responded.

North Carolina shot 51.5% from the floor, as four players scored in double-figures. Along with Bacot's 25 points, RJ Davis had 20, Cormac Ryan 16 (on what was a bounce-back performance for the graduate transfer after a rough second half against Syracuse) along with Harrison Ingram's 12 points.

Speaking of Ingram, the Stanford transfer had a double-double performance... in the first half! He finished the contest with 17 rebounds to capture yet another double-double in conference play.

The visit from Virginia Tech also marked the return of Tyler Nickel, who is presumed to be the first former Tar Heel to return to Chapel Hill to compete against the UNC basketball program. As expected, Nickel's first shot went in, as he finished with 14 points and three blocks off the bench.

North Carolina did exactly what Hubert Davis spoke about in his press conference on Friday: attack the rim and get to the free throw line.

Virginia Tech struggled while dealing with foul trouble, as all three of their big men had four fouls. Trying to mix and match due to foul trouble, Bacot was too much too handle, as he took advantage of the opportunity in front of him, especially in the second half of play.

Following the win, the UNC basketball program will have a week off before returning to action. The next game is a big one, as they'll travel to Virginia for a battle with the Cavaliers, one that could have major implications on the ACC regular season standings.

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