UNC-Greenboro 55, Virginia Tech 52

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BLACKSBURG, Va. -- North Carolina-Greensboro gave Virginia Tech all it could handle last year but still came up a bit short.

Forwards Kayel Locke and Kyle Cain made sure that did not happen again.

Thanks to a furious rally in the final minutes, UNC-Greensboro (7-7) overcame an 11-point deficit to beat Virginia Tech 55-52 on Saturday in Cassell Coliseum.

Greensboro (6-8) went on a 16-5 run in the final 5:30 to stun the home crowd. Locke scored seven points in the final 3:21, and a pair of RJ White free throws sealed the win, Greensboro's first ever in the series.

Cain, a transfer from Arizona State, led the Spartans with 18 points.

Virginia Tech forward Jarell Eddie, the ACC's sixth-leading scorer coming into the game, finished with just four points on 1-for-12 shooting. The senior missed his first nine shots from the floor and was held scoreless in the first half.

Considering Eddie's stats through 11 games, the supporting cast was obliged to pick up the slack.

Freshman guard Ben Emelogu paced the Hokies with 11 points and five rebounds.

Center Joey Van Zegeren and forward Marshall Wood anchored the frontcourt, combining for 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Coach James Johnson's team entered Saturday with a startling lack of depth in the backcourt.

Virginia Tech (7-5) announced on Friday that junior guard Marquis Rankin had permanently left the program. Rankin had yet to dress in a game this season, citing personal issues as the reason for his absence.

Tech also played without guard Adam Smith, who continues to nurse a nagging calf injury that has hampered him throughout the season. Smith is averaging 13.1 points per game.

Prior to the season, the NCAA ruled guard Malik Mueller ineligible for the season. That left freshman Devin Wilson as the only point guard on the roster. Wilson, averaging 33 minutes per game, gave the Hokies seven points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Despite the win, Greensboro struggled to find offense all afternoon, shooting an abysmal 36.5 percent from the floor.

Forwards Nicholas Paulos and Tyrone Outlaw each added six points for the Spartans.

Notes: Virginia Tech improved to 2-0 this season against teams from the Southern Conference. Tech was a founding member of the Southern conference. ... The Hokies entered the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range, leading the nation in that category. ... North Carolina-Greensboro hosts North Carolina State on Monday. ... Virginia Tech hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday.

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