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Virginia Tech stuns top-ranked North Carolina

Jan 13, 2007 - 11:12 PM BLACKSBURG, Virginia (Ticker) -- There was nothing Hokie about Virginia Tech's win over No. 1 North Carolina.

With superior athleticism and energy, the Hokies stormed to a 94-88 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over North Carolina, which had a 12-game winning streak snapped and will tumble from the top of the rankings.

Zabian Dowdell scored 23 points for Virginia Tech (13-4, 3-0 ACC), which had a huge run in each half to end an 18-game slide in the all-time series. The Hokies have beaten perennial powers Duke and North Carolina in an eight-day span.

No player on Tech's roster had been born the last time the Hokies beat a top-ranked team, toppling Memphis State in 1983. They are 2-5 all-time vs. No. 1 teams.

North Carolina (15-2, 2-1) had not lost since a setback to Gonzaga on November 22. But the Tar Heels repeated their sluggish showing from Wednesday's win over Virginia, and the Hokies pounced.

Tech trailed, 21-13, before holding the Tar Heels scoreless for nearly five minutes and rattling off 17 straight points to take the lead for good. A jumper by Jamon Gordon capped the outburst at 30-21.

Virginia Tech held a 47-37 halftime lead and still owned a 51-40 advantage with 17:17 to play when Dowdell hobbled off temporarily with a sprained ankle. Without one of their key players, the Hokies extended the lead with a 17-4 surge.

Gordon had a steal and lefthanded dunk, then capped the run with a layup that made it 66-44 with 12:08 to go.

North Carolina made a desperate late push to make it a one-possession game in the final minute, but Virginia Tech held on for its fourth straight win.

Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points for the Tar Heels.