Tech headed to Chapel Hill, N.C. on Wednesday night to face The North Carolina Tar Heels. In a game where North Carolina held the lead for forty minutes, Tech came up short losing 79-63. After starting the season off 10-2, this is the fifth straight loss for the Jackets who are now 10-7 (0-5 ACC).
Sophomore James Michael McAdoo started the scoring off for the day with a layup to give North Carolina a two-point lead. After a slow start offensively for both teams, North Carolina eventually found some rhythm. Carolina made three three-pointers in the first ten minutes of the game, two of them by sophomore P.J. Hariston putting the Heels up 20-13 at the 12:41 mark.
After two made free throws by junior forward Kammeon Holsey, Tech had cut the lead down to five with 12:06 remaining in the first half. North Carolina would then go on a 10-2 run over the next two minutes, capped by a Reggie Bullock three-pointer.
Tech responded andlooked to be gaining momentum with an assist by freshman point guard Solomon Poole that led to a dunk by junior center Daniel Miller and a made three pointer by Poole that cut the North Carolina lead to four with two minutes left in the half.
However, two made jumpers by the Tar Heels in the final 1:17 of the half, increased their lead back to eight heading into the locker room.
North Carolina started the second half on a 9-2 run putting them up 49-34 and forcing Tech coach Brain Gregory to take a timeout at the 17:28 mark. Tech drew within twelve with 16:01 remaining after a layup by freshman guard Chris Bolden.
Tech would continue to flirt with what appeared to be a comeback for the rest of the half. With 12:24 remaining in the game freshman guard Marcus Georges-Hunt drove down the lane for an easy dunk to pull Tech within eleven, but they were never able to close the gap any further.
The play of the game came at the 6:23 mark in the second half. After a steal by North Carolina’s Dexter Strickalnd, he passed the ball up court to P.J Hariston who finished with a thundering dunk.
In the end, Bullock led the Tar Heels with 17 points making seven of his 12 shots. Hariston provided a nice spark off the bench scoring 15 points including three three-pointers. McAdoo nearly finished with a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Overall, North Carolina hit 42.9 percent of their shots from the field and 35.3 percent from three -point range.
Holsey led Tech in scoring with 18 points to go along with nine rebounds, six of them coming on the offensive glass. Freshman forward Robert Carter Jr. finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Senior guard Mfon Udofia struggled, shooting one-for-nine and finished with three points. Poole also struggled shooting, converting on only one of six shots.
Poole did lead the team with three assists, but also had three turnovers. Walk-on Freshman guard Brooks Doyle got in late in the game and logged his first minutes of conference play this season.
With only six attempts, Tech had problems getting to the free throw line, but they did convert on five of them. After shooting only 50 percent from the line last week against Duke, shooting 83 percent from the charity stripe against North Carolina showed some signs of improvement.
Tech did continue their struggles from three point distance making only four of 15 attempts. Tech out rebounded North Carolina 48-42, but committed five more turnovers than Carolina.
“In this league, you need to be able to be aggressive but composed, when you play some of these teams that really deny and try to speed you up. They sped us up. It’s not the hardest thing to do against an inexperienced or younger team like we have. It’s one of the biggest challenges, especially on the road,” said Head Coach Brian Gregory. “But when you look at your two starting big guys had seven of the 19 turnovers. Sometimes your big guys get even more sped up because you have to use them to relieve some pressure. It’s something we need to keep getting better at.”, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.
Tech returns home and will look to pick up their first conference win of the season against Wake Forest Saturday, Jan. 26, at 3:00 p.m. Wake Forest is 10-6 (3-3 ACC) on the season and is coming in off an 88-84 victory over the eighteenth-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack.