The North Carolina Tar Heels came to Atlanta on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and defeated the Jackets 70-58 to complete the sweep over Tech this season. Tech is now 14-11 overall and 4-9 in ACC play.
Tech started off hot taking an 8-3 lead after a Robert Carter jumper at 17:25 mark in the first half. It was back-and-forth for most of the first half as both offenses looked a bit out of control. It would not be long until North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo began to take over.
Tech struggled to defend North Carolina’s high pick and roll, which led to McAdoo getting some easy looks. McAdoo led all scorers at the half with 15 points to give the Tar Heels a 36-30 halftime lead.
It wouldn’t be long until North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo began to take over…
Once again, Tech struggled at the free throw line. The Jackets were 0-6 from the free throw line in the first half, including two misses on the front ends of one-and-ones.
Both teams came out of the locker room a little sluggish, but freshman guard Chris Bolden drilled a three with 17:46 left to open up the second half scoring and cut North Carolina’s lead to three. North Carolina would go on a quick 5-0 run to increase their lead to eight, but freshman forward Marcus Georges-Hunt hit a three to cut the lead back down to five.
Both teams continued to alternate scores, but after Bolden hit a jumper at the 14:20 mark to make the score 47-41, Tech suddenly went into an offensive slump.
Tech would not score another point until the 7:26 mark when Carter hit a three, but by then North Carolina had stretched the lead to 59-44. Tech would continue to fight, but the lead was just too much to overcome as North Carolina would go on to win.
Although Tech was only able to manage 28 points in the second half— with the majority of them coming when the game was already out of reach—Coach Gregory gave credit to the Tar Heels.
“They’re better defensively than you give them credit for. Not that we’re an offensive juggernaut by any stretch, but they did a good job defensively in terms of challenging and getting their hands on passes,” said Gregory.
Tech outrebounded the Tar Heels 41-36 and shot 39.7 percent from the field opposed to the Heels shooting only 37.9 percent.
North Carolina was able to overcome their poor shooting percentage by hitting 14 of their 17 attempts from the free throw line. North Carolina also forced Tech into 19 turnovers, while only turning it over seven times themselves.
“We’re just not at a point right now, unfortunately, to be good enough to make up for some of the glaring mistakes that we made,” Coach Gregory said.
McAdoo would finish the game leading North Carolina in both points and rebounds. He had 22 points, 11 rebounds and also had four steals. Leslie McDonald provided a spark off the bench for the Tar Heels as he scored 15 points in just 17 minutes of play.
Georges-Hunt would finish 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists for the Jackets. Freshman guard Chris Bolden also had 12 points to go along with four rebounds. Carter nearly had another doube-double, posting nine points and eight rebounds.
Tech will head to Charlottesville, Va. on Sunday, Feb. 24 to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. After defeating Virginia at home earlier this season, Tech will go for the season sweep of the Cavaliers as the Jackets look for their fifteenth win overall and fifth win in conference play for the season.